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Grassed Waterway Maintenance

Posted: April 12, 2017

Grassed Waterways are not maintenance free. Don’t let a bund prevent your waterway from performing its job.

Now is a good time to check your grassed waterways. Grassed waterways need annual maintenance and need to be checked periodically. Annual maintenance includes mowing the waterways about two times a year to keep the vegetation short and promote sod-forming vegetation to tiller for soil protection. To keep the grass short in the waterway is important to avoid soil carried in runoff to settle out all at the edge of the waterway. This will quickly lead to formation of a ‘bund’ at the waterway edge which will block water entry into the waterway – instead water will start running parallel to the waterway creating a rill (or gully!) on the edge of the waterway. Bund-formation at the edge of the waterway is inevitable but can be slowed down by mowing the vegetation in the waterway from time to time. After several years, however, some maintenance is needed to remove the bunds – this is an opportunity to enjoy some recreational tillage with a disk to level the edge of the waterway. Don’t forget to reseed the disturbed zone so your grassed waterway does not lose its effectiveness.

Contact Information

Sjoerd Willem Duiker
  • Associate Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics
Email:
Phone: 814-863-7637