How to Apply Erosion Control Netting for Landscaping


Erosion control netting is a fabric material that holds back soil from washing away on slopes. The material is made from either man-made material, such as plastic, or natural vegetable fibers. The man-made material is typically sunlight resistant and will last for many years. The vegetable fiber mats will generally last for up to two seasons and then naturally degrade. Some vegetable fiber mats will have grass seed implanted into them, which allows for a basic one step installation. Both types of control netting will have to be installed with soil stakes to hold them in place.

Step 1

Understand that various soil types and conditions may call for different plans in applying any type of erosion control. While preparation of the slope and the soil is an important factor before any plan is acted upon, not all slopes will be removed of existing trees and shrubs. Consult your local agricultural extension service if you are unsure as to what type of netting and grasses are to be used for your particular application.

Step 2

Begin at the highest elevation on the slope for laying out the erosion control netting. Regardless of the type, plastic or natural fiber, you will need to work your way down the slope, not up. The goal is to not walk on the already laid material if at all possible. Walking on the material may cause it to dislodge and open spaces for water to seep through.

Step 3

Roll the erosion control netting across the slope in a horizontal fashion. Fasten a wooden stake into the netting every 24 inches in a square grid. The wooden stakes will hold the material firmly to the soil. Lay only one piece of the erosion control netting at one time.

Step 4

Broadcast seed into the erosion control netting if planting grass. You may still wish to apply a thin layer of mulch to the netting when planting a grass seed. The mulch will aid in holding the soil around the newly planted seed. If no grass seed is to be planted, then cover the plastic man-made erosion control netting with a thick covering of mulch, three inches to four inches deep. The best mulch to use will be a wood chip type, as water can seep through the material slowly and drain into the soil. The vegetable fiber mats will not require any form of mulch covering if the mats contain erosion control grass seed.

Step 5

Continue laying the erosion control material across the slope until you have reached the bottom of the slope.

Step 6

Water the vegetable fiber mats and grass seed with the garden hose and sprinkler attachment. Add approximately one to two inches of water on a weekly basis, unless local rainfall amounts exceed the requirements.

Step 7

Add more wood chip mulch to the slope hillside as required to the man-made erosion control netting. Over time, some areas may require more mulch due to steeper slopes.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic control netting (optional)
  • Vegetable fiber mats with seed (optional)
  • Netting stakes wood
  • Hammer
  • Grass seed (optional)
  • Cover mulch (optional)
  • Garden hose (optional)
  • Sprinkler (optional)


  • New Mexico State University: Mulches for Gardens and Landscapes
  • University of Alabama: Vegetation for Erosion and Sediment Control

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota: Shoreline Planting and Buffer Zone Implementation
Keywords: steep slopes, hillsides, run off

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.