Good Plants For Berms: What To Grow On A Berm

The following are some of the most common questions asked by people who want to grow their own berm or swale. These questions may come from different areas of life, but they all have one thing in common: They want to enjoy nature’s beauty without having to spend a fortune on it.

So let us try to answer these questions together!


1) How do I plant my berm?

Answer: You need to choose a site where there is no water table. Then you will need to dig out a hole big enough for your berm. If you don’t have access to such a place, then just make sure that the soil is not too wet when digging it out. Once you have dug out the hole, you will need to cover it with dirt and grass clippings. Make sure that there is no weed growing around it. After covering it up, you will need to plant some grasses or other small plants into the ground. Grasses are ideal because they require less space than larger trees and bushes would. There are many types of grasses which include sedges, rushes, alfalfa, vetches and others.


2) What type of plants are best for a berm?

Answer: There are quite a few different types of plants which are great for building up a berm. Some of these include blue star, lupines, larkspur, and sweet clover. All of these plants are colorful and useful, but my personal favorites are lupines, sweet clover and ox eyss.


3) How do I prepare the soil for planting?

Answer: You will need to dig out a hole big enough for your plant and then mix in some manure with the soil. Manure is essential in making sure that your plants stay alive. Some people use store bought fertilizer, but personally, I find that it isn’t really necessary and can sometimes do more harm than good.


4) Does it matter what type of plants I use?

Answer: The short answer is yes. If you use the wrong plants, they will die off quickly. The wrong type of plants include any non-native plant or anything that requires a lot of water to survive. Native wildflowers are the best choice because they have natural protection against pests and require very little water to survive.


5) What about native plants verses exotic plants?

Good Plants For Berms: What To Grow On A Berm at

Answer: The choice is yours. Native plants are well adapted to your local climate and their natural predators keep their population in check, so they require very little water to survive and they will thrive even in the absence of manure. Exotic plants are not as easy to get rid of if they start taking over your yard, so you should be careful with what you choose. Some examples of appropriate natives are blue eyes, California Poppy, and Monkey flower. Some appropriate exotics are Buckwheat, Dutch clover, and Sweet Alyssum.


6) Which is better: Top Soil or Mulch?

Answer: It really depends on what is available in your area. If you have a choice between the two, I would go with top soil. It is richer in nutrients and will help your plants to survive longer than mulch. However, in some places, it can be very difficult to come by. You can also use a combination of the two. Using both topsoil and mulch together will provide extra protection for your plants and give them everything that they need to thrive. I have even heard of people using things like gravel, but I would only do that as a last resort.


7) How do I prevent weeds from growing in my garden?

Answer: The most important thing to do is to keep your garden free of weeds. Weeds will take away the nutrients that your plants need to survive and can easily overwhelm them if you are not careful. I suggest keeping your garden clear of weeds at all times so that none can possibly get the upper hand. You can also use mulch to help prevent weeds from growing. If you are really desperate for a way to keep weeds from growing, you can use some plastic fabric or even sheets to cover your garden.


8) What is the best way to water my plants?

Answer: That really depends on where you live and what type of containers you have available. In most cases, hand watering with a can or hose is going to be the best option. In my experience however, if you live in an area that experiences droughts, you will have to hand water your plants regularly even if you choose to plant them in the ground. If you are really in a pinch, you can always use a rain barrel or something similar to catch natural rainfall for later use.


9) Which is better: top dressing or bottom dressing?

Answer: It doesn’t matter. You can plant your seeds or young plants either on the top layer of soil or the bottom layer of soil. Just do whatever is most convenient for you.

Question 10) What is the best way to protect my plants from animals?

Answer: This is a little more complex than the other questions, but it really just depends on what type of animal you are trying to keep out. If you are trying to keep out larger animals like deer, you will need something a little stronger like an electric fence. However, if you are just trying to keep out rabbits or other smaller pests, there are other options available such as cages or netting.

Sources & references used in this article:

Predictions of barrier island berm evolution in a time‐varying storm climatology by NG Plant, J Flocks, HF Stockdon… – Journal of …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

Effects of man-made berms upon plant communities in New England salt marshes by JW Mora, DM Burdick – Wetlands ecology and management, 2013 – Springer

Successful reintroductions of the endangered long-lived Sargent’s cherry palm, Pseudophoenix sargentii, in the Florida Keys by J Maschinski, J Duquesnel – Biological Conservation, 2007 – Elsevier

Evaluation of Rhizobium tropici-derived Biopolymer for Erosion Control of Protective Berms. Field Study: Iowa Army Ammunition Plant by S Larson, G Nijak Jr, M Corcoran, E Lord, C Nestler – 2016 –



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