Whether you raise crops for a living or simply own a home or other property, it is likely that erosion is a problem that you have had to deal with in the past or will have to deal with in the future. While erosion problems can be worse when the landscape is hilly or frequently inundated by storm water or melting snow, they can also occur on relatively level ground with normal drainage when changes occur in the vegetation, trees or structures on or near the property. If you are a landowner currently dealing with eroding topsoil or fear you will have to deal with the problem in the near future, here are some small scale erosion and control solutions that really help.
Even out the peaks and valleys
Years of rain and snow, as well as changes in the lay of the land in your general area can cause small hills and valleys to form in areas of your land or lawn. Left alone, these are likely to erode. To prevent this from happening, work to keep sloped areas from becoming steep enough to encourage erosion and keep any small valleys or crevices filled in with mulched leaf matter, grass clippings or compost. This will help to discourage the flow of water through these areas and help prevent erosion issues from developing.
Use plants to hold the soil
Sloped areas and any areas that experience heavy amounts of runoff from storm water or snow melt can be bolstered against erosion by keeping them planted with vegetation known to form good root systems that help hold the soil. While grass is helpful, other types of vegetation are often better suited, such as ground covers, small shrubs, bushes and even trees.
Add directional walls and terraces
For severe erosion problems the addition of directional walls, terraces or drain tiles may be needed to slow, redirect or help alleviate problems caused by the movement of water. Directional walls can be as simple as earthen berms or simple rock, wood or concrete walls that redirect water away from areas most at risk for erosion.
For areas that have large slopes prone prone to runoff, simply adding gentle terraces along the face of the slope can slow the flow of water and prevent it from carrying away your topsoil. Terraces can be constructed with either the existing contours of the land or installed in parallel systems that often include the addition of drain tiles to help safely carry excess water away and protect against erosion.
For even more ideas about helping to prevent erosion and hold your valuable topsoil in place, consider asking a landscaping contractor to tour your property and offer suggestions to any specific problems you are experiencing.