Erosion prevention is an important factor in keeping the landscaping on your property pristine. When rain washes soil away, it ends up downstream and creates piles of muddy runoff, which can build up in low-lying areas. Erosion can also wash away the topsoil on your property, which contains valuable nutrients and microorganisms—once the topsoil is gone, you'll encounter problems successfully growing grass.
In order to protect your landscaping, it's important to prevent erosion. Read on for some potential problem areas on your property that require erosion control methods to be applied.
Slopes—even very gentle slopes that can barely be seen—are the primary cause of erosion problems in landscaping. When water runs down the slope, it takes some of the soil with it. Every time it rains, the muddy soil runoff will end up somewhere else on your landscape. Additionally, the slope will become steeper over time due to the continued effects of erosion.
For gentle slopes, ground cover is typically adequate as a form of erosion control. The root systems of grass or other forms of ground cover such as wildflowers help to stabilize the soil, preventing it from being washed away. It's a natural form of erosion prevention that blends seamlessly into your landscaping. Large areas of gently sloping land can easily have ground cover applied to it by using hydroseeding techniques, in which a mixture of grass or wildflower seed combined with fertilizer is broadcast over a wide area with a sprayer.
However, root systems usually can't prevent erosion on steep slopes. As the steepness of a slope increases, water moves down it more quickly. Ground cover will have a difficult time becoming established before it's washed away. For steep slopes, baffles (small raised curbs made of stone or wood) can be installed at the top of the slope in order to slow the rate at which water flows down the slope. Additionally, geotextile fabric can be laid over the slope in order to prevent the soil from being washed away.
With no ground cover, exposed soil is vulnerable to erosion. When you see exposed soil on your property, there can be a few causes. It may be a slight gully where water collects, which drowns any ground cover that tries to spread there. Another potential cause is that the soil quality is very poor, and it doesn't provide ground cover with enough nutrients to grow.
If left unattended, exposed soil will wash away downstream every time it rains, which will cause the area to slightly widen. You'll need to correct this issue in order to protect the appearance of your landscape. If the area of exposed soil is small, it can be fixed by laying down sod in the area. This elevates the area slightly and provides ground cover with nutrients, which fixes both elevation issues and soil quality. For larger areas, using sod can be prohibitively expensive. In these cases, geotextile fabric can be used to retain the soil and prevent it from washing away.
The soil around any streams on your property needs to be prevented from eroding into the water. Heavy rains will greatly increase the speed at which water flows downstream, which quickly erodes its banks. This applies to any ponds on your property as well. Geotextile fabrics can be used here, as well, by placing them on the banks of the waterway to prevent erosion.
However, your waterway may be regulated by the EPA if it's part of the local watershed. It's best to call a professional landscaping contractor to perform erosion control on waterways—they'll make sure that EPA regulations are correctly followed.
Addressing your property's slopes, exposed soil and waterways will prevent erosion from affecting your landscaping. If you've noticed signs of erosion on your property such soil runoff collecting in low-lying areas or exposed root systems on your plants, call a professional landscaping contractor with erosion control experience in order to have your issues addressed.
Contact a company, like Bark Blowers & Hydroseeding Inc, for more help.