Blackwood's

PLANTING ON HOT DRY BANKS

Many gardens are faced with the challenge of containing and obscuring hot and dry banks where erosion is a constant problem. In many instances these situations are dealt with by building retaining walls with interlocking concrete blocks. These leave spaces for planting between or inside each block. Alternatively consider this method where no structures have been built and a more natural look is required.

Soil preparation and planting

  • Make sure that the soil surface has a layer of good top soil spread over to a depth of at least 10 cm (the deeper the better).
  • Place logs or poles (approx. 15 cm diameter) in the horizontal position in lines along the length of the bank. Peg them in place with wooden or metal stakes to prevent them from rolling down. Fill in behind them with soil, compost and fertiliser at the recommended rates.
  • Plant suitable groundcovers at intervals behind the wooden poles.
  • Put in a low flow rate irrigation system with microjet nozzles to water the area. This will ensure that the plants establish in the harsh conditions without causing any erosion from excess water run-off.
  • The plants will grow and cover the logs which will eventually decompose. By which stage the bank will be covered and secured.

Plant selection

  • Choosing the most suitable plants is paramount to successful bank coverage.
  • Consider sun or shade conditions, winter cold and the amount of water available for irrigation.
  • Cost is another factor that influences this criterion.