As a landscaping professional, you’ll know that sloping surfaces can throw up all sorts of challenges, depending on the type of project and the steepness of the slope involved.
Key to how you approach the job, whether it’s a sloping lawn or pathway, a sloping driveway or something larger, is the drainage and ground stabilisation required. It is vital that you get these elements right because a mistake here will be very costly – in terms of time, money and effort, and your reputation.
To help you avoid such issues and ensure that you deliver a high-quality landscaping project, we have put together this mini guide to landscaping solutions for sloping surfaces.
How to prevent soil displacement on banks
Whether a sloping grass surface finish is possible depends on the gradient of the slope. It may be the case that the use of plant beds and/or terracing is a better option but, if a grass finish works, it is important that you put in place the proper ground stabilisation and drainage solutions. Fail to do this and you are likely to have a mess on your hands.
Slopes are naturally prone to erosion – rainfall and footfall are the primary culprits, causing soil to be displaced from one area to another, which can destabilise the slope. Erosion can also negatively impact grass and vegetation growth, leaving the area looking unsightly. Top tip: if you get a chance to look at the site when it’s raining, take it, as you’ll get an invaluable insight into the challenges that you face.
To ensure the soil is retained on the slope, we would recommend using a product such as Earthworx Groundcell, that reinforces and stabilises the soil by using textured and perforated strips made from high-density polyethylene.
If you’re installing a French drain when landscaping a bank, you should use a non-woven membrane with a stable but open structure to line it, such as Draintex – this will help maintain the capacity and efficiency of the drain.
How to safeguard against erosion on sloping pathways
If you’re creating a sloping pathway, a woven geotextile such as Groundtex is key to ensure proper ground stabilisation and separation of soil and aggregates. Being a heavy duty weed control fabric, Groundtex will also help keep weeds at bay, which is often another important project element.
A common thought is that a sloping pathway precludes the use of gravel, given its tendency to shift, but if the gradient isn’t too steep (no more than 20 per cent), then a gravel retention system with a built-in mesh base, such as Gravelrings gravel grids, makes it possible.
How to achieve proper drainage on a sloping driveway
As with installing a sloping pathway, creating a sloping driveway requires close attention to ground stabilisation and drainage and filtration. It is vital that it is built in a way that stops rainwater damaging the driveway and making it unsightly or unusable.
To stabilise the ground and create a solid sub-base, we’d recommend Drivetex, which is a professional, heavy-duty membrane purpose built for driveways.
And as with sloping pathways, if you’re creating a sloping gravel driveway, we would suggest that you use Gravelrings gravel grids – as they are fully permeable, they also help avoid unsightly puddles, which is a common problem with gravel driveways.
Erosion and drainage solutions for larger sloping surface projects
For larger commercial projects, where you have to consider the impact of substantially more frequent and heavy traffic use, you need a super-strong non-woven geotextile fabric, such as Earthworx NW1000.
Earthworx NW1000 geotextile delivers excellent durability and mechanical resistance when used beneath sub-base layers in areas of heavy traffic use and civil engineering applications.
The importance of the right landscaping solutions for sloping surfaces
Landscaping sloping surfaces presents many challenges, not least relating to ground stabilisation and drainage. Whatever your project involves, it is imperative that you plan properly and address any issues in the right way. Your reputation depends on it.
Do this, take the right steps and install the landscaping materials that ensure the delivery of a high-quality job, and you and your client will be happy with your work. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about planning and materials on your next landscaping job.
With 20 years’ experience in the landscape industry, Growtivation understands the needs of landscaping professionals and has concentrated on providing high-performance solutions with our Product That Works range.
Growtivation’s wide range of professional landscaping systems means we have the right solution for all common landscaping problems.
Find out more about the Growtivation Product That Works range by downloading our Product Guide and your free copy of our Landscaping That Works guide to weed control and geotextile fabrics. Our PledgeMark warranty certifies that our products are suitable for their intended use for your peace of mind and quality assurance.