Ground cover help- mud and mulch beds are washing away

zimm17July 2, 2013

We moved into a new house. The landscaping is a mess. All the mulch beds are bare dirt and on slopes. During heavy rain we get mud/water falls down the tiers in the pics and what little mulch is in the beds out front washes into the grass. What can I put down? More mulch? Rocks? I'd rather not use plants as I don't want to help critters and bugs find homes. Low to no maintenance is key.

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It is plants--those devices with roots anchored into the soil--that do the best job of holding soil in place. A tremendous volume of water cannot wash them loose. Mulch, even if rocks, wash if the water flow is heavy enough. Mulch is a temporary solution, not a permanent fix. A plastering over of concrete will probably be the lowest maintenance solution and prevent bugs and critters from feeling welcomed. But is there no eventual interest in having something nice looking?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 9:46PM
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You already have hostas. They are free to dig and divide as you wish and will fill that space. No mulch needed.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Solidly paving the ledges with concrete would make the water flow worse, not better. You need to slow it down, and get it to soak in. Plants are the absolutely best way to do that. They do not harbor vermin you need to worry about.

Start your flood control efforts by the trees at the rear, or by the fence behind them.

For now, use anti-erosion tubes : make rolls of straw or dry leaves or wood shavings and burlap and lay them across the slope of the terraces every couple of feet, held in with wooden stakes. You have probably seen these, but way longer, across the slopes of construction sites.

On the uphill side of the tubes, start planting perennials with deep roots: ornamental grasses, shrubs, dense ground covers, etc. Whatever grows well in your area.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:37AM
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