Best Erosion Control Practices

Best Erosion Control Practices

With any kind of construction, you are bound to face challenges with controlling erosion and the deposit of sediments. The possibility of erosion is elevated by changes being made to the environment of the site.  Water runoff contributes to the deposit of sediments and increased pollutants. These negative environmental impacts can all be kept at bay if a few Best Management Practices are implemented at the right time. We’ve outlined these best erosion control practices below for your reference.

EcoBlanket,-Terraseeding

Consider Unique Site Attributes

First you must carefully assess the site that you are working on, as every site is unique. Everything from the intensity, duration, and frequency of rainfall  needs to be considered, as does the local geography and landscape. Sites that are on a slope or an incline will be more prone to erosion.  The type of soil that the site is on must also be assessed.  If the site is on soil that is very easy to erode, more drastic steps may have to be taken to reduce or stop erosion.

Ecoblanket-over-Rip-Rap-3-mths-after-I-flipped

Develop a Project Plan

Once the site has been assessed, you can develop your erosion control plan.   Taking care especially when it comes to the order in which different tasks are carried out.  For instance, if you are carrying out construction over a wide area, you can begin excavating areas of the site in sections.  Systematically move through different areas using a predetermined route, rather than disturbing the whole site.   This will help reduce the amount of land that is left exposed for long periods, thereby decreasing erosion. 

erosion-and-sediment-control best practices

Managing Water Flow

Controlling water on your site will also be very important. The construction of dikes and ditches to control the flow of water is prudent, especially when they are constructed at the top and bottom of slopes and embankments. Constructing temporary slope drains will also help in mitigating the effects of erosion, especially when these are constructed in cut/fill transitions and steep slopes around the site.

Sediment that runs off a construction site can cause damage to the environment if it ends up in the wrong place, especially if it ends up in water ways surrounding the site. This could upset the ecosystem. Constructing silt fences and sediment traps will go a long way to preventing potential damage to the environment during to construction. Sediment controls should be constructed around the perimeter of the site, at the entrances and exits to the site, and at water inlets and outlets.

Managing Water Pollution

Reducing water pollution caused by erosion and sediment should be a high priority on site. This involves ensuring that a construction site near a water way has the proper erosion and sediment controls in place. If there is to be excavation then it is important to prevent erosion and sediment loss.  Prior to the beginning of construction you can put filter sock in place around the edge of the water way. This will protect the water from any heavy sediment run off throughout construction.  

Stabilization of soil, on site, after construction may also be necessary.  One of the best ways to ensure that you maintain good soil stability is by protecting the existing vegetation that is on the site, including trees, shrubs and forbs. Areas where there is no longer any vegetation can be treated with a seeded compost erosion control blanket – controlling erosion and re-vegetating the area in one step.

Conclusion

In order to best address erosion and sediment controls, it is necessary to first, asses your site. Second, you must develop a project plan.  Finally, implement your plan by managing water flow, using  engineered structures and protecting the natural vegetation, thus reducing water pollution.

Overwhelming? We recommend partnering with an Environmental Consultant who is familiar with the Erosion and Sediment Control bylaws in the municipality where the project is located.  eg: City of Surrey bylaws

We hope you find this article helpful.  Please share!

Save

Bark Mulch, the Ultimate Weed Suppressant

You have spent hours creating a beautiful yard. You have cleared the area where you envision blooming flowers, lush green shrubs, and perhaps even your grandmothers’ forget-me-nots. You painstakingly chose the appropriate locations for each of your new additions, place them with care, and begin the perfect regimen of fertilizer, water, and sunshine.

Andbenefits-of-mulch-in-your-garden-end then, the weeds begin.

These garden bullies seek to overtake your garden and sap nutrients from your beloved plantlife. As prolific pests, they have found those sun-drenched spots, and you know that simply pulling them out will begin a new, almost daily routine. However, utilizing weed-killing spray may have harsh repercussions for the rest of your plants.

What is the solution?

How can you naturally and effectively keep the weeds at bay?

Bark mulch is your answer for weed suppression.

Two Reasons Why You Should Use Bark Mulch as Weed Suppression Tool

Black MulchBark mulch is the best choice for use as a weed suppressant as it inhibits weeds in two critical ways. First, by applying a thick layer covering the soil, bark mulch deprives the weed seeds in the soil, and their resulting seedlings, of the sunlight desperately needed to germinate and thrive. This prevents current weed seeds from growing.

Second, in applying a thick layer covering the soil, bark mulch inhibits weed growth in another way. Bare soil, especially nutrient-rich topsoils, offer a sort of haven for weed seeds to land and settle in. Bark mulch acts as an inhospitable barrier, stopping weed seeds in their tracks and preventing them from coming into contact with the nutrient-rich soil in the first place.

In these two ways, bark mulch can stop any potential growth of weeds; in fact, the use of bark mulch can reduce weed growth by as much as 90 percent. The plants surrounded by bark mulch are then free to thrive without the needless competition for soil nutrients.

The Other Benefits of Using Mulch

While using bark mulch for weed suppression could be reason enough, there are plenty of other great benefits to be had when you apply mulch in your landscapes:

  • Helps retain soil moisture.   Maintaining a consistent amount of moisture in the soil around your plants is a key factor in keeping them healthy and thriving. Mulch helps prevent moisture from evaporating too quickly, thus allowing plants to be healthy for longer, especially in the heat of summer.
  • black mulch installation with blower truckFeeds the soil.  Organic mulches, such as bark mulches, break down gradually over time to add extra nutrients and organic matter to your soil. These types of organic matter are further broken down by worms and other microbes to enrich the soil and promote the healthier growth of your plant life.
  • Prevents heaving. In the autumn and winter months, bark mulch can also be helpful in preventing a phenomenon referred to as “heaving”. When the water in the soil freezes at night and then thaws during the day, this cycle can actually cause plants to pop out of the soil (known as “heaving”), which can, of course, be the end of your plant’s life.

With all these amazing benefits, bark mulch is your ultimate option for weed suppression. Help your plants grow without competition, in rich and moist soil year-round with one of our premium mulch options.

Save

Erosion Control – Ineffective Methods and What Actually Works

New construction creates conditions that have the potential to cause slope destabilization, dangers to wildlife and fisheries habitats; stormwater runoff increases and results in increased sedimentation. Careful erosion control planning is required to ensure environmental stewardship and safety for generations to come.

In defining an effective approach to erosion control, one should take into consideration both the long-term effectiveness as well as financial feasibility.

The following approaches and methods of erosion control have proved to be ineffective for various reasons:

  1. rill erosion controlInadequate site assessment. Though not an end solution, the site assessment is critical when determining which method is used. When important aspects of the site conditions are not taken into consideration, inappropriate “solutions” may be prescribed.

    One example of a site condition is the steepness of the slope. The erosive forces of runoff increases with both slope gradient and distance down slope and therefore erosion is typically at it’s maximum at the lowest part of the steepest slope section. Not recognizing or taking into account the destructive force of water during seasonal runoff in scenarios with significant slope and distance will result in ongoing and increasing site erosion.

  2. A focus on sediment control (managing sediment that has already eroded) instead of focusing on the root of the erosion problem through prevention.Though silt fences and other sediment barriers may be effective in keeping stormwater and fisheries habitats from undue sedimentation, the approach should only be used temporarily. Filter socks like Denbow’s Filtersoxx can be used both as a temporary sediment barriers but also as part of a more comprehensive deployment of erosion control products.  Single application solutions, not comprehensive. These methods may provide partial or temporary results but are often not effective for the following reasons:
    • Engineered structures – Though usually immediately effective, engineered structures like block retaining walls, do not adapt to changing site conditions, can become progressively weaker over time and are often the most expensive solution. For this reason engineered structures are not always the best method of erosion control.
    • Adding rip rap to ditches to minimize/slow runoff. In some scenarios with minimal run-off, rip rap can be effective but in instances with significant water speed and sedimentation, erosion control is not mitigated.
    • Adding vegetation alone, without a structural component. Though grasses can create a groundcover that can absorb some moisture, they have no slope stabilization benefits have less effective storm water filtration ability compared to native ground cover.

Erosion Control Solutions that Work

Cascadia Wall Rexford Place ProjectThe solution to these incomplete and ineffective methods is to combine them into a comprehensive bio-structural approach. This approach includes engineered structural components that are paired with natural, vegetative products that will adapt and grow within the site structure over time. Starting with expert consultation to identify the appropriate method, the following are a few combination solutions available for different applications.

  • Similar to hydroseeding, but providing much more of the underlying structure needed to prevent erosion, Terraseeding uses compost-based soils and growing mediums. During the Terraseeding process,  seed is injected directly into the soil compost mixture as the material is blown into place, providing optimum moisture and nutrient availability.
  • Denbow’s Kicking Horse Canyon Park Bridge project in Golden is an perfect example of combination solutions that utilized Terraseeded EcoBlanket and Filtrexx Rip-rap Grout installed to address erosion and to vegetate extremely steep slopes.

    EcoBlanket – On areas with a slope of 50% or less, EcoBlanket is uniformly applied directly at the soil surface with a pneumatic blower as specified by Rexius. Typically applied at a depth of 1 to 2 inches, but application depth can vary depending the site requirements. In extreme conditions and where specified by the Engineer, EcoBerms or FilterSoxx may be added and constructed at the top of the slope and in parallel intervals down the profile of the slope if necessary.
  • Extreme slope erosion may require a natural retaining wall solution for reinforcing slopes like Cascadia Green Wall, which allows for natural buffer zone design and water gardens. It is a cost effective solution when compared to concrete, block, gabion retaining walls.

Contact Denbow for an erosion control solution that stands the test of time.

Save

Save

Fall Landscaping Care: 6 Steps to Take Right Now

Fall Landscaping Care – 6 Steps to Take Right Now

With autumn nearly upon us and winter just past the fall bend, you’re probably not spending much time thinking about your lawn. But autumn, with its cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall, is the ideal time to prepare your lawn for next spring. (I know, next spring, really!!!)

Many homeowners think lawns need less care in the fall because the grass grows more slowly. In fact, just the opposite is true. During this time of year, grass is busily absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a long, dormant winter. Give it a little attention now, and you’ll be rewarded with a lush, healthy spring lawn. Just follow these six tips.

Tip #1 KEEP ON MOWING

Fall Landscaping Care 6 Steps to Take Right Now-mowing a lawnThis seems a little self explanatory but it is important. (I’ll admit I’m guilty of ignoring this step in order to take advantage of the last little bit of good weather! )  Continue to water and mow your lawn, as needed, throughout the fall. As fall comes to a close and winter is just around the corner (usually Halloween for all of us in BC), drop the mower’s blade to its lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year. That will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown during the winter.

**Note: When you lower your mower blade, remember to do it gradually. If you take off too much of the blades of grass you could do more harm then good and make the lawn weak heading into the cold of winter. Reset the mower blade gradually to prevent any damage.

Tip #2 AERATE THE SOIL

Fall is also an ideal time to aerate your lawn so that oxygen, water, and fertilizer can easily reach the grass’s roots. You can rent a gas-powered, walk-behind lawn aerator for about $70 per day. The Fall Landscaping Care 6 Steps to Take Right Now- areating a lawnself-propelled machine will quickly punch holes into the soil and extract plugs of dirt. If you’ve got a very large yard—say, more than 3 or 4 acres—and don’t feel like aerating it yourself, hire a landscaping contractor.

Tip #3 RAKE THE LEAVES

I know raking leaves is no one’s idea of fun, but it’s important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as possible. You can either just go straight for the rake and manually pull up the leaves or you can use a power blower (gas or electric) to blow the leaves into a pile first and then rake the final few and place them in a compost bag. Make sure you don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen from the trees to start raking. If you do, the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and form an impenetrable mat that if left unmoved will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases. Fungal diseases are not good for any plant in your yard. Fall Landscaping Care 6 Steps to Take Right Now-raking leaves

An alternative to raking leaves is to use a lawnmower fitted with a collection bag or vacuum system. These methods are particularly effective if you have a very large yard with many deciduous trees. Regardless of whether you use a rake or a lawnmower, just be sure to remove the leaves before they turn into a soggy, suffocating mess.

Tip #4 FERTILIZE FOR FUTURE GROWTH

Most lawn experts agree: If you fertilize your lawn only once a year, do it in the fall. The reason? Grass leaves grow much more slowly as the weather turns cool, but the grass roots and rhizomes continue to grow quickly. (Rhizomes are the horizontal plant stems that lie just beneath the soil’s surface; they produce the blades of grass above and the roots below.)  And yes the fertilizer companies don’t necessarily like if you only fertilize once a year…but there are those that do it and there are worse things to do to your lawns.  A fall application of fertilizer delivers essential nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots now and to keep nutrients on reserve for a healthy start next spring.Fall Landscaping Care 6 Steps to Take Right Now-spreading fertilizer

Wait until mid-to-late fall, then apply a dry lawn fertilizer to all grassy areas; be careful not to miss any spots. You could use a crank-style broadcast spreader, but for optimum coverage, consider using a walk-behind drop spreader. It takes a little longer, especially on hilly yards, but a drop spreader provides the best way to apply an even, consistent layer of fertilizer.

Tip #5 FILL IN BALD SPOTS

Autumn is also a great time of year to fix any bare, bald spots in your lawn. The quickest, easiest way to do this is with soil amender, one of our manufactured soils. Fall Landscaping Care 6 Steps to Take Right Now-filling in bald spots

Use a garden rake to scratch loose the soil at the bald spot in your lawn. Then spread a 2-3″ thick layer of soil over the area. Hand seed over the soil, lightly compact the mixture, then water thoroughly, and continue to water every other day for two weeks.

If you have so many bald spots that you require a lawn renovation, consider Terraseeding – our process of blowing in quality soil with seed and fertilizer injected directly as it’s blown onto your lawn area.

Tip #6 WEED CONTROL

If broadleaf weeds like dandelions have taken over your lawn, now’s the time to fight back. Weeds, like most plants, are in the energy-absorbing mode during the fall. They’re drinking in everything that comes their way, including weed killers. Apply an herbicide now and the weeds won’t return in the spring. Plus you can use bark mulch early next spring on the surrounding landscape to ensure weed suppression is at it’s best. close-up-of-mulch-

Read the package label before use. Most herbicide manufacturers recommend applying the weed killer during early-to-mid autumn, when daytime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed the six tips to prepare your lawn for next year. Please feel free to read the original article here, or you can feel free to share this with your friends! Happy fall everyone.

 

Save