how to control grass on banks

QuestionsHow to growTrees and ShrubsPlantinghow to control grass on banks
Daragh Carey asked 11 years ago

I have recently moved into my new new self build house and have 2 banks of soil either side left over from the initial dig, these banks are also form the borders of the site.however they are very wild and overgrown, I have tackled them this summer with a strimmer and they look fine but I want to try control them and plant shrubs and flowers next year to show off the border of the house, I have a few bulbs planted(daffs/tulips), but now its covered in wild grass and thistles, is my only option to spray and kill these. I would love to plant some shrubs, fruit bushes etc but I worry if I spray and kill everything will it kill the boundry mounds for a season. they are both 35 mtrs long and 2 mtrs high so digging is hopeully not an option .

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 3 years ago
The banks left after site excavation are a very common problem, one that is rarely taken into consideration at the house design and building phase, but can leave little options and real problems afterwards.

Very often, the problem is made worse by the fact that excavation is often limited and the banks are left too close to the house.

The best solution, if not too close to the house, is to plant the bank with a mixture of trees and shrubs. A bank can be largely disguised by planting trees and shrubs, because it is not immediately apparent how tall the trees are … a 5 metres tall tree on a two-metre bank simply looks like a 7-metre tall tree. If the bank is too close to the house, you will be limited to shrubs and perennial flowers to achieve a similar effect.

Grass lawn is not usually a possibility as the slopes are generally too dangerous to mow. 

To establish trees and shrubs, you will have to control all grass and weeds on the banks, either physically or by spraying with Roundup, which does not affect the soil. Weeds must be controlled until the trees and shrubs are well established, usually about  4 or 5 years, using Roundup, and Basta when Roundup-resistant willowherb builds up.