Advice sought on planting-up grass banks...

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Cutty Dyer, May 30, 2010.

  1. Cutty Dyer

    Cutty Dyer Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi everyone,
    Iâ??m looking for advice on planting-up the many grass banks in my Dartmoor garden. Iâ??m currently cutting the grass banks on a weekly basis with a flymo; this is a very physical (not to mention potentially dangerous) task which consumes a good 3 hours.
    The primary purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of gardening time I spend tending the banks (Iâ??m looking for low maintenance options). It is a Dartmoor garden so a natural/wild looking solution would be the best fit, and being a Dartmoor garden the soils acidic and often damp!
    All ideas gratefully received.
    See pics:
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  2. has bean counter

    has bean counter Gardener

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    Its it doddle, you just need to decide between 3 options.

    Option 1. primroses, bluebells let it grow and cut twice a year. Treat as a meadow basically.

    Option 2. Build a wall that eliminates the bank - either cutting back or filling in. Bed at top and bottom with rhodos, azeleas, heathers for all year cover.

    Option 3. Employ someone to cut it.


    I would use a semi-prof brushcutter (which is what I do for a similar situation) and not a flymo
     
  3. Cutty Dyer

    Cutty Dyer Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks for the advice HBC.

    Option 1 is a good solution for the banks along the stream, but I'm not sure about the banks at the front of the house. I was considering some sort of ground cover, cotoneaster or maybe an ivy - can anyone make a ground cover recommendation?
     
  4. has bean counter

    has bean counter Gardener

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    Cutty,

    Ground cover on a slope is not easy as the mulch which is used between the plants until they cover all the ground is washed away.

    As its the front of the house you will want evergreen. Ivy, juniper, mahonia aquifolium (just keep it trimmed).

    You would need to weedkill current grass, preferably dig over , weed kill again after 4 weeks, lay down a membrane to stop weeds germinating and growing through or re-establishing themselves. Plant through the membrane. Apply a mulch.

    Membrane is woven/spun plastic and is not attractive. Why someone doesn't produce a brown one instead of black I don't know.

    No membrane = lots of weeding and through ground cover plants this isn't easy

    Build a wall and plant top and bottom. At least get a quote - its the long-term investment and easier in your old-age

    There is no easy solution es[pecially given the length of your bank.
     
  5. Cutty Dyer

    Cutty Dyer Apprentice Gardener

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    Got me thinking - maybe a dry stone wall with rough stone steps replacing the existing formal steps (my backs "twinging" at the very thought!)
     
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