Erosion and Sediment Control
Overcoming Our Revegetation Challenges
Many of us have faced the project in the past that seems like it will simply not vegetate regardless of what we throw at it. But success is possible; our focus just needs to be on the soil first, not just on the plants themselves to achieve it. Our issues of compaction, sloughs and slips on steep slopes, extremes of soil temperatures, and extremes ranges of precipitation totals all have some solutions in and at the seedbed. Proper preparation of the seedbed and paying attention to alleviating compaction help with air and water exchange, root penetration, and initial germination and expression. We will discuss how to recognize compaction and a multitude of ways to alleviate it. The project that will be discussed to illustrate the point will be from Schertz, Texas. This project had a portion of the access road that was left untouched while the rest was properly prepared prior to seeding. This project illustrates the varying percentages of vegetation that are achieved when all other variables are the same but compaction levels are treated versus where they are not. We will also discuss the various methods that are used to alleviate compaction.
Steep slopes provide us with a multitude of challenges to overcome, especially if the soil is in need of improvement. We will discuss how to achieve these goals when placing soil is difficult and can pose slough risks and where there are constraints thanks to physics as to the equipment that can be utilized. The project site we will discuss to illustrate this point is in West Virginia where a slope had both low organic matter and nutrients and so needed improvement before it could support sufficient plant growth, but had suffered a previous slough as well as an area of concentrated flow that needed to be accounted for. Precipitation and temperature can vary wildly depending on our project locations. Perhaps only five percent of our jobsites fall into the ideal temperature range with gentle and regular precipitation- so how to we achieve success on the other ninety five percent? Project sites to illustrate overcoming extremes from both issues come from Alaska, North Texas, Central Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Proper revegetation is not just about aesthetics. This is a requirement for completion and a vital component of proper erosion control on our project sites. If we want to close out project sites on time and achieve long term success on our sites we must truly achieve successful and sustainable vegetation, and to do that we must look to how to overcome our various jobsite challenges.