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Old August 19, 2019   #1
GoDawgs
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Default The Erosion Control Project

There's a sandy area with a downhill slope that starts at the pole shed at the top of the slope and then runs down past the side of the house. Because it's rather shaded, grass won't grow there so over the years rain has gradually carried away the sandy soil and tree roots are getting exposed. Soil added will just get washed off too and we don't want gravel in that area.

One day it dawned on me that putting down a thick mat of grass clippings might hold the soil, eventually decomposing to the point where some kind of grass would grow. After a test area stayed in place after a 1" rainfall, I started at the top by the compost pile (where the red rake is) and am working my way downhill. Here's a shot of some of the area showing how sandy and bare it is. I've already got some covered at the top and it's now brown now. The brighter green line was some of yesterday's addition.





I put the clippings down about 3" thick and pack it down with the back of the pitchfork. Then the new clippings get watered after which I walk over every bit of it to pack it some more. When it dries it holds together like a mat. This is yesterday's addition, about 16' long and about 3-4' wide.



After raking up the rest of yesterday's mowing, this morning I got another 3' strip put down beyond where it is in that last photo. Slowly but surely it will get covered. The oak leaves overhead are small, leathery and slick to walk on so when they start coming down I have to figure out how to remove them from the clipping mat without disturbing or tearing up the mat. By the time leaves fall the grass will have slowed down and there won't be many clippings for repair work! Maybe the blower on low speed. We'll see. I still have time to figure that out!
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Old August 19, 2019   #2
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This looks great and the perfect place for no till gardening.
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Old August 19, 2019   #3
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Oooh, I don't think so. It's hard as a brick, kind of a sandy clay. And full of big roots from the very old nearby oaks that shade this area. It just looks good with the clippings.
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Old August 19, 2019   #4
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Oooh, I don't think so. It's hard as a brick, kind of a sandy clay. And full of big roots from the very old nearby oaks that shade this area. It just looks good with the clippings.
Think again.
I have cedar elm and the roots are like a hair ball.
Plus It is sandy clay loam just as yours.
And only about 6 inches deep then hard pan.
Grown mammoth sized tomato plants and corn too.
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Old August 19, 2019   #5
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Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Think again.
I have cedar elm and the roots are like a hair ball.
Plus It is sandy clay loam just as yours.
And only about 6 inches deep then hard pan.
Grown mammoth sized tomato plants and corn too.
This stuff is like hard pan at the surface! Naw, I got too much garden going on as it is.
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Old August 20, 2019   #6
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Can you get something like jute matting to cover the area. Down here we can get 6 foot wide x 150 foot long rolls that would cover the area nicely
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Old August 20, 2019   #7
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I'm sorry I thought you were going to make a garden site there.
My mistake.
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Old August 20, 2019   #8
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Naw, just trying to stop the runoff. We got 2.1" of rain last night and the newest section I just put down yesterday held and didn't wash away. Yay!
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