Post Fire Rice Straw on Gridley Road, Ojai

After the Thomas fire, Acacia was called out to Gridley Road, Ojai California to provide an estimate for hydroseeding several acres on the slope above a client’s house and gardens. The recent fire left the slope bare and potential erosion was a direct threat to several structures below. Originally the client had heard that hydroseeding would be a good option as well as the installation of wattles. It was determined that hydroseeding alone would be an inadvisable option due to the difficulty of obtaining water on the property. The pump was burned in the fire and the electricity power lines had been burnt as well. We thought about bringing in our generator and repairing her well but determined that that would be cost prohibitive. Instead the method we chose was an application of rice straw with a light hydroseeding of organic tackifier to anchor the straw to the slope. Rice Straw has long fibrous strands and provides physical barriers to sheet flow of water in a rain event. It also conforms to uneven and rocky slopes and requires less disturbance of the soil than a method such as netting and wattles. To complete this job Acacia obtained a water meter to be installed several miles away and was able to apply a light application of Hydroseed to the hillside, then two tons per acre of rice straw, and then a light coat of Hydromulch with tackifier to anchor the straw. The rice straw will provide a 1-inch layer of mulch to protect the seeds to last from April when we did the install to the next rainy season. On a site which borders chaparral wilderness lands, it was important that we used a sterile, non-seeding rice straw to provide protection without spreading undesired species to the nearby slopes. In the hydroseed we used S&S Seed’s Native Erosion Control Seed Mix. Our client is very happy and confident that she made the right choices to stabilize her slope and her property.

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