Best Plants and Grasses for Erosion and Sediment Control in Edmonton

Finding the right seed mix or plant recommendation for your erosion and sediment control plan shouldn’t be impossible. At MIDA Contracting, we believe in going the extra mile to deliver top-notch results and help provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your project. In this blog, we will dive into the causes of soil erosion and the use of native plants and grasses for ECS in the Edmonton area. 

What Causes Soil Erosion?

  • Water erosion due to heavy rainfall, spring runoff, localized flooding, and streams
  • Strong winds due to seasonal storms
  • Gravity events such as landslides, rockfalls, and unstable soil around hillsides
  • Soil types, such as finer soils, are more prone to erosion due to fewer plants and more rocks and boulders intermixed in the soil.
  • Land-use activities such as mining, construction and agriculture

Why are Native Plants used in Erosion and Sediment Control?

An effective erosion and sediment control measure considers the type of work needed and the ecosystems you are working within. Plants, shrubs, and grasses hold soil in place, making it more difficult for runoff or rainwater to eat away at the soil and steal it from the landscape. Due to the dense foliage that plants and grasses provide, their leaves can protect the soil from direct rainfall. Their dense root systems reinforce the soil.

Native plants and groundcover are among the most effective and natural ways to control soil erosion and steeper slopes and allow water filtration. A native plant or grass can withstand the local temperatures and growing conditions due to its adaptation to soil types and climate over time. These plants can handle anything from wetlands to drought conditions across Alberta and are easier to manage than a fast-growing or invasive plant species. Did you know you can find custom seed blends to mimic native grasses for erosion and sediment control in your area?

Best Erosion Control Grasses and Plants

Native plant and grass recommendations are based on the Alberta Transportation landscaping zones and the Canadian Plant Hardiness breakdown. Edmonton and the surrounding area fall under Zone 5 for Alberta Transportation and Zone 3a for Plant Hardiness. For the best results, consider using plants adapted for shade and low maintenance. Because of Alberta’s diverse landscape and soil conditions, we’ve compiled a snapshot of the best erosion-control grasses and plants for soil stabilization and adaptability.

5 Recommended Native Plants for Zone 3a

  • Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)
  • Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
  • Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)

10 Recommended Native Grasses for Zone 3a

  • Canada Wildrye (Elymus canadensis)
  • Sheep Fescue (Festuca ovina)
  • Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides)
  • Slender Wheat Grass (Agropyron trachycaulum)
  • Fringed Brome (Bromus ciliatus)
  • Green Needle Grass (Stipa viridula)
  • Northern Wheatgrass (Elymus canadensis)
  • Indian Rice Grass (Puccinellia nuttalliana)
  • Nuttall’s Salt-meadow Grass (Puccinellia nuttalliana)
  • Western Wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii)

What is an Erosion Control Blanket

An Erosion Control Blanket (ECB) is commonly used on short, steep slopes where vegetation grows slowly due to a higher erosion risk. Made out of mulch, wood fibre, coconut fibre, or degradable straw, an ECB helps to protect bare soil from heavy rainfall. These blankets are designed with an open weave for plants to have breathing room as they grow and will break down over time into nutrients for the soil and the established plants and grasses.

During installation, seeding or hydroseeding is performed before laying the ECB to give the plants the best conditions for germination. Due to its open weave, an ECB can help to conserve soil moisture and increase filtration. At MIDA Contracting, we partner with local municipalities and builders to ensure we use the right materials, ECS techniques, and vegetation for the area.

How can we help today? 

Are you looking for erosion and sediment control services for the Edmonton area? We’ve got you covered! When it comes to delivering for your customers and keeping up with project timelines, we can help with everything you need for construction maintenance services. You can count on us to be ready to take care of your delegation list to keep your project on time and within budget. The tasks that fall by the wayside are our bread and butter because we believe there is no such thing as a small task. How can we help you with a project today? Contact us today to discuss your project maintenance needs and learn about our erosion and sediment control services.

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