Tips to Avoid Landscape Erosion

Mar 19, 2020 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

Erosion is the gradual loss of soil to wind, rain, or water runoff. If you have a sloped lawn, landscape erosion can wreak havoc on your backyard.

Erosion can be very subtle, but the ramifications are serious. At best, erosion is unsightly. However, erosion can also be dangerous. Not only does it make slopes hazardous, but erosion can also cause channels in the slope’s soil, pile up soil and rock at the bottom of a slope, undermine the flat land above the slope, and even block streams and creeks. In addition, erosion can also wash away contaminants like petroleum products, pesticides, and fertilizer, which can eventually end up in our water supply. 

Thankfully, if you want to avoid landscape erosion, there are some steps that you can take. Keep reading to learn more about the tips to avoid landscape erosion!

Keep Your Soil Covered with Mulch

One of the easiest ways to prevent landscape erosion is to add mulch. This is a particularly great option if the slope is less than 33 degrees, because it can help keep soil in place on gentle slopes. You will need to use at least 3 inches of mulch that is able to resist strong winds and rainfall. Typically, shredded bark or rocks are the best type of covering to lay on a slope to prevent erosion. It is important to note that if you are using mulch to reduce the risk of landscape erosion, you will need to frequently add more.

When laying down mulch, you might also want to consider first putting down a layer of fertilizer. Fertilizer helps to absorb water, which can reduce the impact of rainfall on the area. It can also contribute to a higher pH level, that provides better soil health and can reduce the risk of runoff.

Consider Using Rip Rap

Rip Rap is used to stabilize cut-and-fill slopes. It is a layer of rough, loose, big stones that protect soil from erosion in areas of concentrated runoff. This quality product can also be used on slopes that are unstable. Rip Rap stones should be at least 6 to 8 inches wide each and are usually granite. If you would like to utilize Rip Rap to protect your home from erosion, Kurtz Bros., has what you need!

Build a Retaining Wall or Terrace

Retaining walls and step terracing can be tricky for homeowners to tackle on their own, but they are great for eliminating landscape erosion. Though costlier than other solutions, even a smaller 4-foot by 15-foot wall can support over 20 tons of wet soil. It you want to build higher than 3 or 4 feet, you should contact a structural engineer or professional landscaping company to help create your retaining wall or step terracing.

Grow Plants on Slopes

One of the most popular and perhaps easiest ways to avoid landscape erosion is to plant vegetation on slopes. It’s important to note that planting vegetation on slops can actually reduce runoff by 50%!

As these shrubs and plants grow, the roots work their way further into the soil and firm up the slope. The roots not only hold the dry soil together, but they also soak up excess water that can also lead to landscape erosion.

In addition to firming up the soil from underneath, these plants will also act as a barrier to the slope. As rain or snow falls and the wind blows, the plants will shelter the soil and help to prevent landscape erosion.

Plant Native Plants with Absorbent Roots

When planting vegetation, you should consider choosing a species that is native to your area. That is because their root structure is best suited for the environment and can help stabilize the topsoil better than a non-native plant.

Plant Grass & Turfgrass

Something to keep in mind is that turfgrass can control erosion on slopes that aren’t steep. However, you have to choose the right type of grass and keep it healthy. An annual rye that can germinate quickly is able to stabilize soil while perennial grasses establish themselves. It’s important to aerate the soil if possible, and add compost to loosen up the soil. Compacted soil often leads to runoff and landscape erosion, so you need to keep the soil and grass healthy. If needed, you can also lay a covering of straw to secure the seed in place and reduce runoff while the grass seed germinates. For some, a seed germination blanket is the best way to get grass started on a gentle slope and it’s sold by landscaping supply companies like Kurtz Bros.,

Contact Kurtz Bros., for help protecting your home from erosion and runoff!

If you want to prevent erosion at your house, Kurtz Bros., can help. We have the tools and materials necessary to help you protect your home from erosion and runoff. From Rip Rap and varieties of mulch to plants and trees, you’ll find everything you need at Kurtz Bros.,! Contact us today or stop into one of our local stores to speak with our experienced team and develop a plan that works for eliminating erosion at your home.

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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