Selecting Erosion Control Blankets
Erosion control is an important practice for homeowners and contractors alike for many reasons. Part of it has to do with aesthetics – erosion control blankets promote ideal growing conditions for grass and tree seed while providing protection from wind and water erosion.
Although the area you’re seeding may be on flat ground, the advantage of using an erosion blanket on flat ground or slopes is keeping the seed in place and keeping the seed and soil moist. This will help the seed from being blown away or eaten by birds, as well as helping germination.
Proper erosion control has effects outside of just helping provide a good looking lawn. On a larger scale, residential soil erosion leads to road damage and the sediment eventually finds its way into streams and rivers, contributing to the phosphorus load and causing algae bloom. Sediment runoff ends up clogging pipes, sewers and other drainage areas, which must be cleaned out at the expense of taxpayers.
Before you select an erosion control solution, there are a few things to consider first about your site:
- You should plan to preserve as much existing vegetation as possible. It will naturally curb soil erosion and improve the appearance (and possibly) value of the property.
- Become familiar with the natural drainage patterns of the site. Better planning will make any erosion control efforts more effective and less costly.
Once you’ve determined you need an erosion control blanket, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is this an area you will mow?
Yes: This suggests your site has a grade of 3:1 or less. For this instance, a single net straw blanket with jute netting or Curlex Net Free is recommended. The jute netting is made of natural fibers so it will not get caught in your lawn mower. The Curlex Net Free is made of aspen fibers that are stitched together making a continuous matrix with no netting.
No: If the slope is too steep to mow, you’ll need a double net straw blanket. They are designed for higher performance on more extreme slopes. These include North American Green’s S-150, and American Excelsior’s 2 Net Straw or Curlex II.
2. Is this a sandy soil condition?
If Yes: In this case, a great solution is American Excelsior wood fiber blankets. They are engineered to perform better in sandy soils. Wood fiber swells once it becomes wet, making it able to hold finer soils in place.
3. Is it an area that experiences a more constant water flow?
If Yes: You will need to use additional products to slow down the water to help keep your seed in place and minimize the chances of erosion. American Excelsior Sediment Logs are a good product for this application. They filter and reduce the speed of the water.