Skip navigation.

How do you build a bund?

Last post 10-03-2010 11:45 AM by Dizzy. 16 replies.

Page 1 of 2 (17 items) 1 2 Next >

  • 01/02/2010 03:54 PM
    • Dizzy
    • Lincolnshire
    • 01 Feb 2010
    • 34
    Top 500 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    We are converting a barn to a dwelling on a busy A road. We have begun constructing a bund to try and cut out some of the traffic noise at the front of the property. So far the builder has heaped the brick rubble along the fence. I know we will need lots of topsoil but how much and how do you stop it from being washed away by the rain? I would also be interested in any suggestions for planting.

    Dizzy
  • 01/02/2010 06:27 PM
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    I'm no landscaper, so I can't help you on how to actually build the thing - I would be interested to know if it would be possible to build a nice high, long mound without supporting structures, even if they were only temporary. I imagine that a lot of compacting the soil as you go would be necessary.

    The two best trees for the job of holding down loose soil are alder and willow. You'd probably be best with one of the less thirsty willow, like goat willow, but any of the alders will do. They are very vigorous and have fibrous roots systems that are perfect for binding the soil, but none of them will reach a really big size that might topple the mound either. Dogwoods, viburnum lantana & viburnum opulus would also be sensible choices to add some variety.

    And for the shorter term, I reckon plain old grass would make the most difference in the shortest amount of time. 

    It might be a thought to use clay rich soil, rather than lovely soft topsoil, as I recall a mound of heavy clay that I helped dig out of a big ditch many years ago and which has sat there happily ever since! But I must defer to a pro on that one.

    Good luck!

    www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
  • 01/02/2010 07:00 PM
    • Dizzy
    • Lincolnshire
    • 01 Feb 2010
    • 34
    Top 500 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Thanks for your contribution on the planting side. I think the clay soil sounds sensible. I am still looking for advice on how to construct the bund!

    Dizzy
  • 01/02/2010 09:49 PM
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    This project is quite a bit bigger than yours, I imagine, but it was interesting to me all the same!

    These ones are even bigger, but this particular photo got me thinking:

    I bet those sort of metal grids, or something similar, are pretty cheap when you buy them by the pallet load.

    Dig a wee ditch either side of the bund site. Build up the bund, layer by compacted layer, bury the ends of the grids in the ditches (possibly using some concrete) and tie their tops together with lengths of wire so that they are tight against the sides of the bund, with a nice wide gap at the top for the plants. Voila, a reinforced earth sandwich! 

    Not to be mistaken for professional advice!

    [EDIT] if that first link there takes you to a sign in page, just google "binding a boundary bund" and it should take you right there at the top result.

     


    www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
  • 02/02/2010 09:05 AM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    I think it depends on how big and high.  However you would be unwise to go for less than 15cm of top soil and 30cm of subsoil and ideally 25cm of top soil. 

    I would question brick rubble - if there are too many air spaces within it roots might not be able to explore for moisture.  By definition heaped earth is free draining and drought will be a major constraint.

    Vegetation is not that good at attenuating noise so  the higher the bank to reflect noise the better.  I notice ones around local housing estates are at least 2m high and 5m wide - but few private homeowners will be able to spare that much land.

    It is noticeable how much noise increases after leaf fall on hedges adjoining roads so I suggest adding plenty of evergreens.

    It is usual to use a fabric to retain the soil - either woven polypropylene or natural biodegradeable material. These will suppress weeds that can quickly stunt new plantings of woody plants.

     It is also usual to plant numerous small, inexpensive, trees and shrubs called whips to get good groundcover quickly which will stablise soil.  Later management might involve thinning out and coppicing to get the height and density you desire.

     Naturally careful watering for at least two years after planting, is needed if plants are to get established.

    Finally builders are seldom fit to be trusted in matters gardening and if significant expense is involved I suggest getting a horticultural professional to at least check the scheme on site - ones affilliated to BALI or APL are likely to be competant.

    Good luck.

     

    Boggy

     

     

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 02/02/2010 03:01 PM
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Yes, Boggy is right about the whips, I should have been clear about that: you definitely want to use smaller plants (between 40 and 80 cms tall) - they are both cheaper and will have more vigorous roots.

    If you are covering a large area, woven polypropylene will be your cheapest option unless you can find someone with a lot of old sacks they want rid of. It is easy to plant through, though not very beautiful! 

    One of the better evergreens for blocking sound is cherry laurel - it has wide, heavy leaves that are good at stopping wind and therefore sound waves. Lush conifers are good too, but they will want to become big trees, whereas laurel can be cut back without too much care and will grow back just fine. My concern about planting evergreens actually on the bund, if it is going to be quite tall, is that they mostly become big trees and, because they are in leaf all year, will catch the wind in a violent winter storm and could topple and pull down your hard work. It could be an idea to plant larger evergreens alongside the bund instead (whichever side would block less sun on the bund, so the deciduous trees there stay happy).

    At the end of the day, only a pro on site will be able to tell you the most important thing: how much will it all cost! 

    Right, I'm staying out of it now!

     Best of luck

    Edward

     

    www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
  • 02/02/2010 07:42 PM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Consider these erosion control mats: http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=4064 http://www.soilstabilisation.org/Site/productslandscape.htm Best to use renewables where you can, I think. Plastics have t be got rid of eventually which is a chore and a waste. Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 04/02/2010 04:12 AM
    • Doris
    • Winnipeg, Canada
    • 04 Feb 2010
    • 10
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    Hi

     I am new to the forums and found your post very interesting. I garden in the Canadian Prairies and here we call a bund a berm. My husband and I are in the midst of a complete backyard makeover, which includes the creation of berms.

    Our soil in Manitoba is a gumbo clay mixture that holds together very well and does not readily wash away in the rain. When we created our berms we advertised the need for what we call 'fill'. Fill is ground soil (without bricks, roof tiles ect) from the digging of basements. Many homebuilders have the need to get rid of the soil and are willing to deliver. This fill is not porous but rather clumped and perfect to pile high. I would consider topsoil far too porous to use for such a project, but that's only my opinion.

    Our berms are not nearly as high as your proposed, however I believe the method is the same. As we pile the fill we roll it with a water filled roller and then continue to add more fill until we reach the desired height and shape. We then lay sod over the entire berm. This helps with any potential soil erosion. If that is not to your liking (because of the mowing aspect) then I agree with another replier that mentioned the use of laying a fabric weed barrier and certain plantings. For height I agree with taller conifers such as the fir, spruce or pine. I have seen this done and it really does create a noise and privacy barrier. Another suggestion could be planting spreading evergreens such as junipers, mugo pines or the false cypress. Once planted you can mulch around the trees or shrubs to help cut down the weeding and keep in the moisture. If you like you can see some of my handy work on my web site that I created to showcase my makeover. www.my-gardening-and-landscaping-makeover.com/berms.html

    I hope that I have helpd you in some way and I wish you the best of luck.

     

     

  • 04/02/2010 04:21 AM
    • Doris
    • Winnipeg, Canada
    • 04 Feb 2010
    • 10
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    Hi, its Doris again. Sorry that I posted my web site. I'm not too sure if that's allowed on this forum. My site is a personal site, not commercial and I created it so that everyone can follow along with my struggles and wins as I attempt to makeover my backyard.

  • 04/02/2010 04:30 PM
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Thank you for your considerate post, Doris, I like your thinking - why pay for soil when there are people paying to get rid of it! Of course it's fine to put your link in - it's on topic and very interesting.

    Good to see a Canadian on the site: if the doomsayers of climate change are right, Britain might lose the warming effect of the gulf stream and our winters could become a lot more like Canada's in the future. We may need your advice again!

    www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
  • 04/02/2010 04:51 PM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Fascinating. 

    Fill would be called subsoil in Britain and should be fairly available and probably better than coarse building waste. Of couse if you want to generate your own fill dig ponds or a sunken gardens... But for the best growth topsoil is highly desirable, and in many cases will be freely available from the area where the berm/bund/bank is to be.  Happily the very heavy rainfall events common in some North American climates are not usually a problem in Britain so erosion is less problematic.

    For noise reduction height is very advantageous, but even though vegetation is not especially effective at mitigating noise, even blocking out the sight of noise sources is often very acceptable. Out of sight, out of mind.

     Thanks for sharing.

     

    Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 05/02/2010 03:33 AM
    • Doris
    • Winnipeg, Canada
    • 04 Feb 2010
    • 10
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    Hi Again

    Thanks for your kind words. You are quite correct on topsoil being a better growth medium. I neglected to mention that once I have the fill bermed to the height desired, rolled/packed, I top it off with topsoil and then plant or sod. Thanks for reminding me. It's February in Winnipeg and my brain is still frozen...at least until mid March.

    Besides bringing in fill, we also used the fill that came from digging out our two huge ponds. We also used the pond fill to mound my flowerbeds higher and thereafter I added my own compost mixture, topsoil, sand and manure. My gardens are a long term project.

  • 05/02/2010 12:56 PM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    It would cheer up British readers no end if you could post a few pics of frozen prairie wastes and deep snow.

    Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 07/02/2010 03:05 PM
    • Doris
    • Winnipeg, Canada
    • 04 Feb 2010
    • 10
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    This is an image of my almost frozen waterfall. Winnipeg had a sudden snowfall in October (2009) and thank goodness my camera was close at hand. The snow melted 2 days later, but I found this image to be beautiful.My almost frozen waterfallMy almost frozen waterfall

     

  • 07/02/2010 03:31 PM
    • Doris
    • Winnipeg, Canada
    • 04 Feb 2010
    • 10
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    Here's another image from over the Christmas holidays. My frozen larger pond (I have a smaller pond as well and they are connected by a stream) and my daughter, son-in-law (from Australia) and grandson enjoying a warm winter's evening skating. My evergreens are lit with LED mini lights and we have tikki torches to add ambience. We usually light up the firepit as well.

    Doris

    Skating Pond