Erosion, the gradual loss of soil to rain, wind or runoff following a rain, can create havoc in a sloped yard. Your choices for stopping erosion on a slope range from easy to difficult, depending on how much your lot slopes and how much money you want to spend.
We are losing 1% of our topsoil per year. You may think that this problem is confined to farmers and that they are going to have to be the ones that deal with it, but erosion affects everyone, especially if you are a gardener or a lawn enthusiast. Luckily, most lawn erosion problems are preventable.
There are many methods that could be used to help prevent or stop erosion on steep slopes, some of which are listed below.
If you are planning on trying to control the erosion on very steep slopes or embankments, sometimes planting vegetation may just not cut it. If this is the case, you should consider building terraces to help slow down erosion as the vegetation takes hold.
PLANT TREES AND SHRUBBERY
Trees and shrubs are very effective at stopping soil erosion. This is primarily because plant roots tend to hold soil together, making it harder to erode. The leaves of the plants also help to reduce the velocity of raindrops falling on the ground.
Mulch is a good choice if your slope is less than 33 percent, and the right mulch can help to keep soil in place on a gentle slope with or without plants.
Plant a rain garden to soak up excess moisture and stop runoff. A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope.
DIVERSIONS TO HELP DRAINAGE
Depending on the incline of the slope or embankment, one of the most effective ways to help prevent erosion is to create diversions which will channel excess water down the slope along a predetermined path.
Interlocking concrete blocks fit together without mortar and can be configured to curve more easily than timber walls. They also come in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes, but cost a bit more than timber walls.
CALIFORNIA WILD LILAC
These plants prefer full sun to partial shade, are tolerant of drought and produce masses of blue or deep-violet flowers.
HYDROSEEDING FOR EROSION CONTROL
Proponents of grass to control erosion recommend hydroseeding, a method of spraying a mix of different species of grass seeds, fertilizer and other materials to help the seed stick to the soil.
Geotextiles are large sheets of synthetic fabric that disperse the flow of water on a slope and allow the water to seep into the soil more slowly.
For the most part, soil will stay put. However, on steep slopes and embankments, there is the elevated risk of erosion. It is essential to put as much effort as possible into actions that will stop the soil from washing away. This is because not only could this make the area that has been eroded barren, but it could also adversely affect water supply and introduce pollutants.