10 Ways To Prevent Erosion In Your Garden
The quality of the soil in your garden will determine the health of your plants. Believe it or not, your yard loses about 1% of topsoil each year. This is a significant amount of soil, depending on the size of your yard. Truthfully, erosion is a natural process and cannot be completely avoided, but leaving it unchecked can have serious impacts on your garden.
When the topsoil is eroded, this reduces the soil’s ability to retain moisture and nutrients, which affects the quality of your crop. Erosion of the topsoil leaves the subsoil exposed. Once this sublayer becomes compacted, it keeps the water from passing through to deeper layers, therefore leading to even more runoff.
As a gardener, especially if your land is on a slope, preventing erosion should be a top priority if you want your garden to flourish. So we’ve put together a list of 10 tips for preventing erosion in your garden:
- Plant shrubs and trees
Planting trees and shrubs in your garden is one of the most effective ways to combat soil erosion. The roots of plants tend to hold soil firmly in place, keeping it from washing away. The leaves of plants and shrubs also reduce the force with which the rainwater hits the soil, therefore reducing runoff.
- Build terraces
If your garden is on a very steep slope, planting trees and shrubs may not be an option. Very steep slopes may not be able to support anything more than the hardiest grass. In this case, stepped terraces are your next option. Terraces slow down erosion until plants are able to take hold. They can be made out of anything from wood to concrete.
- Divert rainfall with sandbags
Sometimes you just have to let nature run its course. During heavy rainfall, it’s next to impossible to prevent erosion, especially on hilly landscapes. In these cases, sandbags work really well. Sandbags can be stacked in a conventional stair-step formation to divert the flow of water around your yard.
- Build a retaining wall
A retaining wall is a simpler solution than a garden terrace. Retaining walls can be very attractive, and they are very effective at preventing soil runoff. They also allow you to create multiple plant or flower beds throughout your garden.
- Plant a rain garden
A rain garden is an affordable way to slow runoff from your garden. It is simply a man-made depression filled with native shrubs, perennial plants and flowers. It temporarily holds and soaks up rainwater runoff from driveways, lawns, patios and roofs.
- Use mulch when possible
Mulch is a very effective way to slow soil erosion. It works by reducing the impact the raindrops have on the soil beneath, therefore lowering the chances of runoff. It also covers the soil against the wind, keeping it in place for longer.
- Avoid bald spots
Bare soil in your garden is never a good thing. Exposed soil is far more likely to runoff or blow away. Try planting grass or shrubs at these spots to help keep the soil in place. Mulching bald spots can also reduce erosion.
- Choose plants wisely
Some plants are better at holding the soil in place than others. If soil erosion is really a concern for you, opt for native plants with more absorbent root structures.
- Leave your yard untilled
Untilled soil is more resistant to soil erosion, as the natural structure of the soil is left intact. Tilling breaks up the soil and accelerates surface runoff.
- Use erosion control mats
Biodegradable mulch mats are a great way to minimize soil erosion. They are often made from organic matter that degrades slowly over time. This allows nutrients to be added to the soil over time. And the mats cover the soil, keeping it in place.
Soil erosion is a natural phenomenon, but as a gardener, it can be quite an issue for your plants. Use the 10 tips above to help you take control of your yard space, your way.
Woven Earth’s mulch mats are hemp-based and biodegradable. And they are good for everything, including preventing erosion, keeping weeds from growing and regulating temperature.