Landworks lawn care company is your expert for all sorts of landscaping, including berms. A berm is a mounded hill of dirt built to block unwanted views, provide a subtle sense of privacy, direct or redirect drainage and foot traffic, emphasize a specific focal point, or add height variation.
A berm can be small and simple or a major construction project best suited to a professional lawn care company, depending on the size of your yard and goal of construction. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your berm:
- A berm should be 4-6x longer than wide, and no taller than 18-24” high.
- Create wide curves that appear to occur naturally in the landscape.
- Consider drainage options in the area surrounding the berm. A berm will affect drainage patterns and redirect runoff to other areas, and could encourage pooling after a rain if you do not plan well.
- Sketch up your berm on graph paper before digging, and then make an outline of the intended berm in the landscape. This way you can decide if it looks good before actually building the berm.
- Decide what types of plants you want and where with microclimates in mind. Water drains more quickly at the top of the berm, for instance, so a lawn care company will place plants that prefer drier conditions there, with moisture-loving plants at the bottom. Also, remember that berms facing south or west will be warmer than those facing north or east.
- Mulching the berm will help reduce water runoff and erosion as well as control weeds.
Building A Berm
The bulk of a berm is typically made of some sort of fill material like soil, sand, or plant debris. The fill material must be able to stably retain without deterioration. Incorporating compost into the soil will encourage healthy plant growth.
Begin the build by outlining the shape of the berm with chalk, flour, or spray paint. Pull up the sod and fill in the bottom of the berm with whatever material you’ve chosen. Pack all around it with soil. Continue piling the soil into a sloping mound, shaping it to mimic the landscape around it.
To make the transition between the berm and landscape to be smooth and gradual, a lawn care company will not build the peak in the middle. For a more natural look and better balance, place the peak to one side. You can also create multiple peaks as long as there is variation in the slope, height, and width.
Tamping the new berm is an important step to prevent collapse. It also helps prevent air pockets from pushing up and drying out your plants. Water the berm and tamp a second time to prevent sinkholes. Continue adding soil and tamping until the berm feels solid. You are then ready for plants and mulch.
For information about landscaping and lawn care services, call Landworks Lawn Care Company at (913) 422-9300. To request a quote, click here.