How to Fix Soil Erosion
Soil erosion occurs most commonly in areas with high rain fall, strong winds or scant vegetation, but it can occur to a lesser degree just about anywhere. It proves challenging for many homeowners since it not only impacts landscaping, it can also cause damage to building foundations. Vegetation provides the simplest and most effective means of fixing soil erosion and preventing further soil loss, but choosing the appropriate type and placement of the vegetation is essential if the process is to be successful.
Determine the direction of the prevailing winds in your area by contacting your local meteorological service. Plant a closely-spaced row of evergreen trees between your property and the direction of the prevailing wind to keep the topsoil from blowing away. Choose trees that are appropriate for your climate and the size of your property.
Control soil erosion along slight slopes and flat areas by planting a leguminous ground-cover, such as clover. Break up the soil at the site using a rotary tiller. Scatter the seed across the tilled site. Cover the seeded area with a germination blanket to keep the seeds and tilled soil from washing away. Remove the germination blanket once the seeds sprout.
Plant larger shrubs and woody plants along steeper slopes to provide support and structure to the underlying soil. Choose native plant species since they typically develop an extensive root system and will provide greater erosion protection with few individual specimens, which is a more economical investment.
Reseed bare patches in your lawn to keep the erosion from spreading. Scatter the seed onto the bare patch and 2 to 3 inches onto the surrounding grass. Cover the area with a small germination blanket to keep the seeds in place while they germinate. Choose a grass species with a deep root system to maximize its effectiveness at fixing the existing erosion problem.
- Tree saplings
- Rotary tiller
- Clover seed
- Germination blanket
- Shrub saplings
- Grass seed
- Slope Stability and Erosion Control: Ecotechnical Solutions; Joanne E. Norris, et al.
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Works; Homeowner's Guide to Flood, Debris and Erosion Control: Plant Selection