By: Liz Baessler
Bermsare simple but helpful additions to the garden and landscape that can addinterest, increase privacy, and help direct water to where it’s most needed.But is mulching berms necessary? Keep reading to learn about berm mulch tipsand ideas.
What is a berm? A berm is a manmade mound of earth thatserves some purpose in the landscape. Some berms are meant to create a sense ofelevation in an otherwise flat garden or yard. Some are meant to retain ordirect water, such as around a tree or away from a house. Some are meant justto create a rise in the landscape, subtly but effectively blocking out whateveris on the other side.
But do you need to mulch berms? The simple answer is: yes.Berms are raised mounds of dirt, and raised mounds of dirt like nothing morethan to be washed away by erosion. Berms are at their most effective (and theirmost attractive) with plants growing out of them. This makes them look good,and the roots of the plants help hold the soil intact against rain and wind.
Mulchis essential to fill in those spaces between the plants to keep the dirt fromrunning away in little rivulets. It’s also excellent for retaining moisturewhen that is the purpose of your berm, such as if it’s builtin a ring around a tree. Just remember stick to the ring and neverto mulch up to the edge of the tree – those mulch volcanoes you see sometimesare bad news and should be avoided.
The best mulch for berms is the kind that won’t wash or blowaway easily. Shredded wood or bark are good bets, since their large pieces arerelatively heavy and interlock well. They also make for a nice, natural lookthat blends in well with the landscape and doesn’t draw too much attention.
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Erosion, the gradual loss of soil to rain, wind or runoff following a rain, can create havoc in a sloped yard. Left unchecked, erosion can wash away soil on a slope, cause channels in the slope's soil, pile up soil and rock at the base of a slope, block streams and creeks, or undermine the flat land above a slope. The potential for damage depends partly on the type of soil. Sandy soils wash away more easily than clay soils, but there are other factors to consider, such as the degree of incline of the slope and whether the topsoil on the slope is thin and sits on hard rock or is relatively deep and rests on a thick layer of subsoil.
Nothing looks nicer than a nice stone wall around your gardens. People have been using stones in one form or another to build walls for centuries. Of course, not all of us have the skills need to build a stone wall from scratch.
While this one might be made of plastic, it looks just like real stone and comes in sections that add up to 9.75 feet long. The tan color was chosen for its ability to blend into the scenery. You can use the sections to create straight lines or curves and they come with 9.5" long metal stakes to help keep everything in place.
|Looks like real stone||Susceptible to damage from string trimmers|
|Can be used for straight lines or curves||Colors fade in sun|
|Easy to assemble||May break during assembly|