How to Seed an Embankment

Flowing water and erosion can clean away seeds and young plants in an embankment long before they become established. Whether it is time to repair a bare embankment, seeding is often the most economic option and can triumph with the correct preparation. Plant choice for the embankment can also be significant. Perennial grasses, such as fescues (Festuca), bluegrass (Poa), perennial ryegrass (Lolium), lyme grass (Elymus) and tufted hair grass (Deschampsia), all work nicely for seeding an embankment and helping to control erosion. Frequently a mixture of similar or those grasses is used because some varieties become established more quickly than other varieties.

Remove all rocks, tree stumps, present vegetation and other debris in the embankment. Anything larger than two or three inches in diameter should be removed.

Till the embankment to a depth of 2 inches to loosen and aerate the soil. Scatter a low-nitrogen starter fertilizer, such as a 6-20-20 fertilizer mixture, above the embankment. Till the embankment to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.

Spread grass seed uniformly over the embankment. The seed can be spread by hand or by using a lawn seeder. The application rate of the grass seed varies from one type of seed to another type; follow the specific instructions you received with your own seed.

Lay an erosion-control mat over the embankment. Overlap the sections of the mat. Secure the mat to the embankment by driving metal staples to the ground, which makes the staples level with the soil. It’s especially important to guarantee the cap of the mat is protected.

Water the newly seeded embankment by means of a sprinkler or drip-irrigation system. Avoid applying too much water too quickly since the consequent washout could sweep away the grass seeds.

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