Erosion Control On The Hills Of Shelly Drive In Ashland

Shelly Drive is a relatively new development that was cut into a large hill. The front of the houses are 20 feet above the road and the back yards are flat for about 30 feet then slope upward at about a 45 degree slope for 100 plus feet. The soil is mostly shale rock and except for a very few weeds, nothing grew in it. Heavy rains would create rivulets and wash mud into the lawn and driveway. There were a few times that required tractors to remove it all.

The house on the left hired us to top dress the hill with 4” of compost, cover it with jute mesh erosion control netting and hydro seed it with a fescue turf grass and wild flower mix. We set up a watering system with a timer to keep it wet and prayed for no major rain storms until it got established. Our prayers were answered and you can see the result; a dense green turf that will become more beautiful over time as the wild flowers take hold and most importantly, retain the soil and hill.

The other neighbor tried to correct the problem using the cellular confinement erosion control you see in the picture . It was spiked into the earth and filled with loam. An elaborate landscape timber planter was put into the wash out as well. In the end, the result was about the same – a big mess. I’m glad it wasn’t me hauling all the timbers and loam up that hill! Having seen the results of our strategy next door, they hired us to do the same. We fixed up the last attempt here and there, install a drainage pipe to the bottom of the wall below the timbers and top dressed with 4” of compost as well. We used our 502 Finn Bark Blower which is powerful enough to pump the compost about 200 feet from the truck to the top of the hill. This time we used a Curex erosion control matt for a little extra control, as it was even steeper than the other one. We hydro seeded with turf grass and wild flower mix, and watered it by adding a zone to the irrigation system, and there you have it. It’s been three years and running, no erosion problems and a green meadow to enjoy.

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