Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Guidelines are needed to outline the proper procedures for establishment and maintenance of narrow grass hedges for erosion control. Factors which influence the success of grass hedge plantings are presented, including selection of the proper grass, use of high quality seed, proper seedbed preparation, precision planting methods, optimum timing and sound management practices during and following establishment. This information will be useful to farmers and conservationists interested in an economical method to slow runoff and reduce soil loss through erosion control.
Technical Abstract: An economical method to slow runoff and reduce soil loss is stiff, erect, densely tillered narrow grass hedges. Grass hedges differ from other common types of grass strips (i.e., buffer strips, filter strips) because they are narrow, planted with stiff erect grasses, and capitalize on, rather than minimize, the formation of berms by deposited sediment. The general concept of this technology is that narrow rows of grass edges are planted in parallel lines across (perpendicular to) the dominant slope of the field. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides L.) are two warm season, native, non-weedy species with potential as hedges in much of the United States. A firm smooth soil surface is required to facilitate precision planting and to optimize soil- seed-moisture relationships. High quality grass seed should be planted when soil temperature reach 65-80 degrees F and just prior to the greatest probability of substantial or prolonged rainfall. Planting procedures and management practices are also discussed.