written by: Chris Thomson and Bill Dashwood
A newly constructed equipment rental and maintenance facility with a back lot where mobile equipment is stored in a tiered level arrangement, was backfilled with loose gravel. A request was made to vegetate the slopes between storage levels and the back slope behind the facility.
The slopes and back slope, which were 2:1 with runs of 20-30 meters, were composed of rocky sandy soil in one location and sandy rocky soil on a sloped location, neither of which was conducive to the growing of grass and presented a highly erodible situation (Figure 1).
Maritime Hydroseed was contacted to evaluate the project, make recommendations and find a grow solution for the existing conditions without the addition of topsoil. Due to time and cost restraints, an alternative to the standard recommendation of the addition of 6 to 8 inches of screened topsoil
was proposed to the owner.
Maritime Hydroseed contacted Verdyol Plant Research. Based on soil samples from the project site Biotic Earth-Black HGM (hydraulic growth medium) was recommended as a soil amendment to be applied at 3,900 kg/ha in lieu of topsoil. This product is composed of 40% processed straw, 60%
peat moss and proprietary growth enhancers which is mixed with water and applied utilizing a high pressure Hydroseed machine (Figure 2).
Maritime Hydroseed applied the Biotic Earth HGM to the entire site in the first step. This was followed by the application of the vegetation-erosion control slurry. A Fiber Reinforced Matrix (FRM) engineered wood-mulch with synthetic fibers and bonding agents was applied at 3,900 kg/ha
with a site specific seed mix (red fescue, red top, Canada bluegrass, alsike clover, spring barley, fall rye) and fertilizer with 15-25-15 blend (Figure 3).