Monday, June 6, 2016

Pretty, Hardy Weed

After considering problems in critical areas, the next logical runoff concern is that from slopes in general - the steeper the slope, the greater the concern. Slopes not only erode easily, but they also often carry water away too quickly for it to infiltrate the soil. A slope of sandy soil can wash out very quickly and sandy soils are the norm here in Calvert County.

Such was the case at my church where a pocket pond filled up with sand that eroded from its banks before vegetation could stabilize the slopes. The county inspectors finally caught up to us and put us on notice to fix it. The repair plan involves filling up woven bags with the sandy deposits and stacking them on the eroded banks. In short order, we need to also establish better vegetation cover to avoid future problems. Here might be a good place to show how biochar and compost can allow things to grow in difficult conditions.

Not many plants want to grow on sandy slopes, but cypress spurge is one that I found recommended for that situation. I will be on the lookout for it on the roadside as I go about in the next few weeks. If it's as invasive as it's reputed to be, the plant should be pretty easy to find. In fact, I believe I noticed some recently, but wasn't in the market for it at the time. Though normally considered invasive, cypress spurge is the only plant for poor soil among ten recommended by the University of Maryland extension for stabilizing slopes.

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