Which Grass To Use For Erosion Control

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Hydroseeding for Erosion Control

Controlling the impact of erosive forces such as wind and heavy rainfall on soils is vital to preserving soil volume.

Without effective erosion control in place, multiple soil types are naturally exposed to the physical erosive forces of wind and water, stripping valuable topsoil of nutrients and potentially polluting waterways.

Vegetation plays a critical role in erosion control. Providing stability to the soil through root reinforcement, vegetation also reduces land degradation, salinity and provides a habitat for biodiversity and animal species.

Now, almost any plant or grass can be used for erosion control. That’s a given. However, the bigger problem, particularly in Australia, is selecting a plant or grass that grows fast and is adaptable to the area.

If the grass fails to establish quickly, the root system will fail to stabilise the soil and it could become too difficult to counteract the erosion problem.

So, what is the best erosion control grass? Well, in this guide, we give you our suggestions, along with some further information to help you make your decision.

Native or Introduced Seed?

Both native and introduced seed mixes offer their own advantages in certain conditions. Through hydroseeding and hydromulching processes, the best attributes of either seed type are accentuated, and the slurry is tailored to the specific requirements of native or introduced seed blends.

Native Seed

Definition: one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention.

In the harshest conditions, Australian native seed mixes perform better, requiring less watering through application to produce comparable yields to introduced seeds. Australian natives also require significantly less coverage for similar yields when compared to introduced species mixes. Further to this, reintroducing species that are endemic to the sites natural surroundings is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Introduced Seed

Definition: Any plant living outside its native distribution range is considered introduced. It can arrive there either deliberately or accidentally.

In some cases, where you need a particularly quick growth rate, an introduced seed may be required. These can be natural seeds native to another area, or they could be genetically modified seeds, developed for a specific requirement. In contrast to native seeds, introduced species are comparatively cost-effective when revegetating a site and often cover a site more quickly than their native counterparts. It’s critical that you only use introduced seed when recommended by an expert.

1. Wallaby Grass Species (native)

Wallaby grasses grow well under heavy grazing and do not require fertiliser application for increased persistence. The grass is also wintergreen, which provides valuable forage in winter and early spring when low availability restricts stocking rates in many native pastures.

Native to: Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

2. Kangaroo Grass Species (native)

Kangaroo grass has a particularly wide distribution, found in all of Australia’s states and territories. The grass can be an ideal choice to prevent erosion as it needs little maintenance and grows in full to partial sun with little water once established. Kangaroo grass is drought tolerant.

Native to: Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

3. Windmill Grass Species (native)

Native to sandy ranges and barren wastelands, watermill grass is not too picky when it comes to soil quality. In fact, the grass has a preference for nutrient-poor areas and will grow best in arid ranges with hot summers.

Native to: Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

4. Weeping Grass Species (native)

Growing to nearly one metre tall, weeping grass is usually only found in areas of medium to high rainfall. Staying green all year round, the weeping grass is a common choice for erosion control due to its tolerance to poor soil quality.

Native to: Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

5. Bluegrass Species (native)

Bluegrasses can be found in temperate and tropical climates worldwide, but are only native to the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. This grass prefers deep, fertile heavy textured soils of neutral to alkaline pH.

Native to: Queensland, New South Wales

6. Redgrass Species (native)

Native to eastern Australia and naturalised in Tasmania, Redgrass is a commonly used cover crop due to its nutritious contents which attract insects and birds which further fertilise the land. Redgrass is resistant to fire and will grow best in areas of average rainfall.

Native to: Queensland, New South Wales

7. Kikuyu Grass Species (introduced)

Native to East Africa, Kikuyu is a popular soil erosion grass due to it being inexpensive and drought tolerant. It can be found in sandy soil, but the species grows best in moist conditions. The grass is also popular due to its bright green colour.

Native to: East Africa

8. Couch Grass Species (introduced)

Originating in Africa, couch grass is an introduced grass due to its aptitude for growing in warm, dry climates. The grass is quite tough, which makes it popular in sports like rugby and golf.

Native to: Africa

9. Fescue Grass Species (introduced)

Fescue is a bunch type grass that is coarse bladed, dense and grows well in shaded areas. Fescue grass is popular due to its tough reputation and the tendency to be drought and disease resistant.

Native to: Europe

10. Buffalo Grass Species (introduced)

Growing to nearly 30cm tall, buffalo grass is native to tropical Africa and was naturalised to coastal areas of Australia due to its inexpensive cost. Buffalo grass is extremely drought resistant and has also proven itself to be disease resistant.

Native to: Tropical Africa

11. Bahia Grass Species (introduced)

Bahia grass, also known as Paspalum notalum, is a tropical to subtropical grass that is native to Mexico and South America. Due to its tolerance of sandy soils and saline conditions, Bahia grass was naturalised in Australia as an erosion control solution. Bahia grass requires minimal maintenance.

Nat
ive to: Mexico and South America

Do you have an upcoming Erosion Control project?

Contact our expert team at Erizon for information about our Erosion Control solutions now by visiting our contact page or calling 1300 182 182

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