You have decided to landscape with barkdust. What can you do to prepare for bark blowing? And once the bark blowing is done, what can you do to help keep the barkdust in place? If you’ve never worked with this landscaping system before, here are four ideas for preventing barkdust from eroding.
Edging will help keep barkdust in plant beds and off walkways, driveways, and lawns. In the same way that flowerbeds and raised hardscaping keeps mulch and garden soil in place, edging can keep barkdust in place all season long. Edging can take many different forms, including:
· Plastic, metal, or wood strips installed along the border of the garden or plant bed
· Natural edging in the form of ground cover plants around the border of the garden or plant bed
· A higher, thicker ring of barkdust placed by your bark blowing service around the border of the garden or plant bed to create a bowl shape
You may also want to consider digging trenches in place of, or in addition to, the edging. While trenches around gardens and plant beds will not prevent erosion, they will tend to capture eroded barkdust before it washes or blows onto walkways, driveways, and lawns.
If your yard has steep hills or mounds, you may want to make additional landscaping improvements before the bark blowing service’s scheduled appointment. For example, you should consider terracing steep slopes before having barkdust blown onto them. If they fit with your landscape design, terraces allow more efficient use of hills and slopes. Relative to barkdust, terraces also retain water rather than allowing it to run off, thereby conserving soil and barkdust.
It may seem contradictory, but it is possible to use water to prevent erosion. Moist barkdust is denser than dry barkdust. If wind erosion is a concern, moisten barkdust with a hose or sprinkler system when wind is in the weather forecast. Be judicious, however. Overwatering barkdust can cause water erosion by lifting the barkdust off the soil and washing it away.
Barkdust provides significant benefits to gardens and plant beds, but only if the barkdust stays in place. Selecting the right barkdust, installing edging, and terracing hills can reduce the risk of erosion. Avoiding weed barriers and using water judiciously can also help keep barkdust in place.
When in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult with your landscaping or bark blowing service. These professionals should be happy to answer your specific questions.
Do Not Lay Down Fabric or Sheets
Contrary to popular belief, weed barriers, like fabric and sheet material, don’t always prevent weeds from growing. Weeds tend to find a way to grow around or on top of such barriers. Worse yet, weed barriers exacerbate erosion. Barkdust blown onto a plastic or fabric surface will be subject to less friction than barkdust blown directly onto soil and will have a greater tendency to be washed or blown away by rain or wind, respectively. When preparing for bark blowing, avoid laying down fabric and sheet weed barriers so your barkdust will stand a much better chance of staying in place.