10 Sep Foiled By Soil No More: 5 Effective Ways To Get Control Of Soil Erosion
Soil erosion occurs when the top layer of soil is swept away by natural forces like wind and water or man-made forces like construction and poor farming techniques. In the United States, almost 6 billion tons of soil wash and blow away each year. When soil erosion occurs, it becomes very difficult to grow vegetation and formerly beautiful landscapes can turn in vulnerable spots for landslides and mudslides. Before you experience these disastrous effects, take control of soil erosion with these methods.
- Retaining Walls: To prevent water runoff, build retaining walls around the area of erosion. Runoff water is a major contributor to soil erosion, as water sweeps away layers of soil as it journeys down a slope or hill. Retaining walls also assist with earth retention, especially in sloped landscapes that are prone to landslides. Repairing shallow landslides adds up to $750 million annually, but utilizing earth retaining methods can alleviate that cost.
- Mulch/Fertilizer: Oftentimes, you can get control of soil erosion without constructing anything. By applying a layer of mulch to the soil top, you allow the soil to soak up the water slowly, rather than all at once. The mulch or fertilizer essentially works like a filter between large amounts of rainfall and the vulnerable soil. This application also protects against rain impact and restores pH levels.
- Riprap: Another method of slowing down water is using riprap on an embankment slope. Riprap is a rough, loose stone that is embedded into or spread loosely onto the slope. As the stones are typically granite-like, it can give your landscape a rough look. If you’re concerned about its appearance, you can soften it with ground covers or plants.
- Vegetation: The most natural way to get control of soil erosion is by planting vegetation. Plants naturally stabilize soil, and thereby prevent soil erosion, as they establish root systems in the systems. You can plant any vegetation in the embankment that has a strong root system, from simple grass to colorful plants.
- Geotextiles: A more involved process of stabilizing an embankment, using geotextiles will prevent soil erosion. As another natural method, geotextiles can be used in conjunction with growing vegetation to make it even more effective. Geotextiles come in three varieties: woven, nonwoven, and coir.
The most important part of preventing soil erosion is controlling water flow, as that is what typically wears away soil and leads to landslides. If you notice that your landscaping has a soil erosion problem, take care of the problem today with one of these effective solutions.