As many of you are aware, municipalities have become increasingly stringent with regard to enforcement of deficient conditions, they will no longer accept at the time of the annual stormwater control measure (SCM) inspection (Formally referred to as BMP). One particular hot button item that is heavily scrutinized by all municipalities is the presence of a stabilizing, hardy perennial vegetative cover in and around the SCM. Unfortunately, many of the annual inspection dates fall at a time of year that is not conducive to the establishment of a perennial (or permanent) vegetative cover from seed. With this being said, vegetative repairs performed during compromising seasons of the year (i.e. summer or winter) require repeat applications indefinitely, leaving the soil unarmored and subject to erosion for a good portion of the year. This results in increased cost burden and liability which most property owners and managers would prefer to eliminate.
Early fall is the most optimal season of the year to establish a permanent vegetative cover, most efficiently from seed, and remediate sparse or bare areas at your SCM. September 15th through October 15th is the prime window for seeding and establishing cool-season turfgrass like tall fescue or fescue/bluegrass blends. I would suggest taking the time to review your monthly maintenance reports to stay ahead of all deficiencies. Now is the time to consider remediating historically compromised areas on your grass swale, wet/dry detention ponds, constructed wetlands, bio-retention devices, and level spreaders to save on future maintenance costs. Don’t forget the importance of soil bed preparation measures like reducing compaction, incorporating a line, and nutrients per soil test. These added and critical measures are likely needed for more stubborn areas that have not previously vegetated due to poor soil conditions. Over compaction and improper PH are the leading causes of poor vegetative establishments.