Planting Grass, Preventing Erosion

October 18th, 2007

     More rain last night, which we really needed.  At times it came down in buckets, and I was worried about some new grass I had planted over the past few weeks.  But it looks great this morning!  Sometimes I feel like we live in a bowl… well, I guess we do, but I feel like I’m in a bowl… uh, nevermind…  anyway, the house sits on top of the hill at one side, and the ground slopes down to the pond on all sides.  Originally it was what we in Missouri call a “holler” or a hollow- a natural forested drainage from higher ground, with steep slopes on both sides.  About 25 years ago someone put a dam up on the lower end to create a small pond with a 30+ acre watershed.  When it rains heavily, the watershed directs all of the excess runoff into the pond.  Right now that’s okay since the pond is down about 4-5 feet.  But in the spring when the pond is full, it overflows at the corner where the spillway pipes allow it to run down a channel to the creek by the road. 

     Overall it works pretty well, but sometimes the volume of water is incredible, and the challenge we face is to keep the ground covered in enough vegetation to prevent erosion.  Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with it around the property, especially along the shoulder of the state road as it winds down a hill. The shoulder ruts are about 3-4 feet deep in some places.  Recently I asked the state highway department to help put rocks and gravel down there next to the road, and this morning I put up a few stakes with orange tape to help mark it when they come by.  The problem is they just drive by it, and don’t notice how deep the ruts are beneath the grass.  I asked for them to call me so I could show them, so we’ll see what happens.

The slope from the house is pretty steep too in some places.  There were many weeds and rocks here that I cleared to replant in grass.  I just couldn’t keep the weeds down effectively, so being planted in grass will make it easier to cut and control.  This was the rough removal, after which it was raked and groomed a little more.

Grooming the slope after removing weeds and rocks

After two weeks and some cooler weather the grass came right in.  But I hope it can become thick and resilient like the grass on the pond’s dam.  Hmmm…  I need to find out what is the best type of grass for the slopes.  Anyone know? It’s mostly sunny with southern exposure here, but with some light shade in the afternoon.

Grass growing on slope within two weeks of planting

I had to put up a picture of a Begonia that has grown in a container near the house.  It didn’t really take off until early September, and it has grown big and beautiful.  I may try to dig it up and keep it inside over winter to replant in spring.  I was wondering… do they like the cooler weather?  If we get a frost soon, that will be it for the flowers and foliage!

  Container grown Begonia in October

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