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The notorious clay bank.

Afternoon, all
Some posters may remember me asking questions about stabilising a steep clay bank, and being given suggestions about plants that could grow on a slope and/or attaching chicken wire netting over the clay,  etc etc.
Well, about 3 years down the line from asking that question, the bank has now been populated by a variety of plants, without any intervention by me. Mainly grasses, but some ivys and other tenacious varieties.

It looks good to me, and I'd imagine that grass is as good a stabiliser on clay slopes as anything else, so I intend to leave things as they are. Would other posters concur with that course of action? 

Photo to follow if it would help. 


  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139

    Photo to follow if it would help. 
    They always do! If it looks good and has a good covering of plants Id imagine its pretty stable. Grasses are good stabilisers as they form a good matt of roots
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,998
    There's no such thing as structural grass (though people have tried) but if it hasn't slumped in this year's cold and wet winter then it's probably at or below it's natural gradient. Clay is stable at surprisingly steep angles. Grass and ivy etc should stop water and frost from loosening the surface any further but do allow for a bit of natural slippage and some 'hill wash' happening from time to time and don't put anything precious or fragile near the bottom of the bank.
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    the surface will be stabilised, however with the grass roots only being shallow and it runs the risk of suffering a slope collapse, i'd get something with more substantial roots growing in it now, shrubs or even small trees
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,986
    I agree.. the grass/weeds will enable you to plant some larger plants in there to further stabilize the slope.  I would just buy a forsythia (or find a friend with one), and prune most of the branches off at an angle and just shove them into the clay.  Keep the soil moist just in that area for a few weeks, and many of them should root.  That way you don't have to dig, risking unstabilizing the area.  
    Utah, USA.
  • Thanks very much for all responses. We already have several examples of forsythia around the garden, so theoretically I could do as you suggest very soon, Blue Onion. Makes sense to plant other things that have deeper roots, too.

    Due to the extremely wet and long winter we've just had (and are still having today) the clay has actually become slightly unstable in parts of the slope where the ground is still bare, but I've fixed chicken wire to those areas with long metal tent pegs, and along with the slightly warmer and dryer weather of the last few days that seems to have stopped any slippage. 

    I'll take a pic when the rain stops. 
  • DesthemoanerDesthemoaner Posts: 191
    edited April 2018
    Shot taken today. I did take a few more, but it took so long to download this picture to the forum that I decided not to bother with the rest.

    The bit my post is about is the bank on the right just below the hedge and above the path; its about four feet high at the most.The roots of the hazel/ hawthorn hedge are no doubt helping to bind the clay along with the grass.   

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