How to control topsoil erosion in sloping gardens
If you own a property that sits on sloping ground, the potential for topsoil erosion is something that you should take into consideration when landscaping your garden. Losing soil through topsoil erosion can not only leave your garden with unattractive bald spots, it also removes valuable nutrients, leaving your planting at risk of dying.
There are a few proven effective ways of controlling erosion in a domestic setting.
Topsoil erosion control mats
Topsoil erosion control mats are netting structures made from biodegradable, fibrous materials such as wood, straw or coconut. These mats can be placed across a patch of sloping ground in order to provide purchase for soil and prevent it from being washed away by rainwater or blown away by the wind.
Erosion control mats are not intended to be a permanent fixture and they usually degrade over a period of six months to a year. The purpose of the mats is to allow vegetation to get a foothold in the topsoil. Put down at least six inches of topsoil and place the mats in position before planting seeds in and around the netting. As the young plants take root, they will help to hold the soil in place.
Planting to combat topsoil erosion
As an alternative to mats, you could opt for a natural erosion control strategy using plants.
Before planting, cover the sloping area with a deep layer of bark mulch broken up with large rocks and boulders. Once the plants get established, the area not only looks great, it’s extremely effective at deflecting rainwater in many different directions, preventing the soil from being washed straight down the slope. Low bushes and shrubs are also effective at preventing wind erosion and make a very useful addition to your anti-erosion design.
Dry streams and low, retaining walls to prevent topsoil erosion
If your climate is very harsh or your location is particularly exposed, you could consider using dry streams or retaining walls to prevent soil erosion. By placing low retaining walls made from stone or logs, you can help to prevent topsoil from sliding down sloping ground and dry streams can be very effective at channeling water away from the slope without taking the soil with it.
If you own a property that is situated on sloping ground, you can still have an attractive garden that is protected from the effects of topsoil erosion. Follow the tips given above to help keep your plot on an even keel!