What Is the Best Grass for Erosion Control around Asheville?
Living in Asheville certainly has its advantages. It’s beautiful, of course, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, with lush, green landscapes and rolling hills. It has a growing population and home values that are increasing as well. It’s easy to see why homebuyers are attracted to the area. There is a challenge though, when it comes to maintaining your Asheville property, if you have areas that are uneven or have steep slopes. The problem is how to manage soil erosion that can damage your yard and be expensive to fix.
Why is Soil Erosion Control Important in Asheville?
Soil erosion control involves the redirection of water (from rain and snowfall) to prevent damage, flooding, contamination, and erosion. There are many parts of your home and neighborhood that have surfaces that do not absorb water. Structures like roofs, cement driveways, patios, asphalt, and roadways, do not allow water to soak in naturally. Instead, the water is forced to find drainage with the help of gravity. This can create flowing channels in the soil that, with gravity’s help, pick up speed and force, and carry away the nutrient-rich soil that’s needed for healthy vegetation.
Soil erosion doesn’t just affect the quality of the soil. It can also create other problems like the quality of water supplies, clogging in creeks and streams, flooding that can lead to property damage, washed out sidewalks, clogged storm sewers, and more.
Fortunately, there are some erosion control strategies that can be used to reduce erosion and the damage it can cause. One option is using plants, specifically types of grasses, to manage soil erosion. Another, one that we feel is more effective and attractive, is using natural stone hardscapes to stabilize soil and redirect water to areas of your property where water is needed or easily absorbed.
Is Grass a Good Option for Erosion Control?
Using plants, ground cover, or grasses for soil erosion control can help maintain the soil by protecting it from wind and water, as well as creating channels for rainwater to flow through the root systems. Grasses are useful in this way, and they multiply quickly and generously, to become fairly hardy against rain, wind, and snow runoff. Using native grasses helps with the maintenance, as they already fit into the natural landscape, so they won’t be hard to keep alive. However, there are also some drawbacks to using grass as soil erosion control.
- Maintenance – Grass is a living plant, so it will require maintenance to remain healthy. In summer months that have less rain than usual, you may have to consider irrigation or other methods of watering. Additionally, some grasses are best for warm months, while others are best for cold months. That may mean it will be necessary to reseed twice a year.
- Replacement – Because grass is a living thing, it can die. There are various reasons this may happen, from excessive heat to disease to animal activities, but whatever the reason, you will have to replant it.
- Appearance – While there are various types of grasses that can be used for erosion control, they all look like…well, grass. To keep your yard looking pretty and inviting, you will probably want to combine grass with other plants to elevate the overall appearance.
Are Stone Hardscapes A Better Alternative for Erosion Control?
Hardscape features, especially when constructed with natural stone, can be a better alternative for soil erosion control than grasses. These features, such as retaining walls, terraces, rain gardens, free-standing walls, and others, can be designed and installed in such a way that they provide more effective drainage and water redirection.
Some of the benefits of using stone hardscape structures as erosion control are:
- Durability – Natural stone doesn’t die. It will last for as long as you are in your home.
- Versatility – Stones come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing you numerous different options for the look of your hardscapes.
- Low-maintenance – Stone hardscapes require very little maintenance once installed. Typically, the most that has to be done is spraying with water to remove dirt or other debris.
- Attractive – Hardscapes can be designed to your specifications, making them as beautiful as they are functional.
- Increased home value – Hardscape features are often selling points that boost the value of your home when it’s time to sell.
Hardscaping Professionals for Soil Erosion Control in Asheville
Using hardscapes for soil erosion control comes with many options for the design of the feature, the materials used, and how it’s installed. That’s why it’s important to consult with a landscape contractor that has hardscaping and stonework experience. At Ambrose Landscapes, we have expert designers and master craftsmen who can create and install the stone hardscapes you envision – in both the way they look and the way they work. With natural stone, you never have to give up beauty for function, you can get the best of both worlds.