Homeowner Erosion Issues

Straw Mulch Installation.jpgKeeping your soil in place is better for your property and the environment. Erosion degrades soil, requiring homeowners to add costly fertilizer and soil amendments to keep plantings healthy. Soil erosion also pollutes local ponds and lakes by adding nutrients to the water, causing excessive algae growth. If you have eroding soils or hard to vegetate areas on your property, here are some things to consider.

  1. Reduce Excess Shade: Remove or trim trees creating excess shade. Excess shade from weedy trees such as Box Elder or invasive species such as buckthorn create areas with bare soils that are hard to vegetate. Removing or trimming trees creating excessive shade can help improve ground cover vegetation growth.
  2. Slow the Flow: If water flow is causing erosion, consider ways to slow it down. One easy fix is to redirect or extend a downspout toward more vegetated areas. You could also capture downspout water with a rain garden to reduce rainwater runoff.
  3. Grow Native: Some areas that are hard to vegetate with turf grass may have excellent growing conditions for native plants.
  4. Quickly Establish Vegetation: Use a cover crop to quickly establish short-term erosion control. Common cover crops include oats, winter wheat and annual rye.
  5. Keep your seed or plants in place: For flat areas, a straw mulch with tackifier will help prevent rain from washing away new seed and hold moisture. Shredded hardwood mulch will help protect areas planted with plugs. For sloped areas, consider an erosion control blanket to better protect new plantings from washout.

Don't Let Your Soil Stockpile 

Wash Away Stockpiles of soils have a huge potential to erode when it rains. If you have a project that requires stockpiling soil, make sure to:

  • Use the soil as quickly as possible
  • Do not place the stockpile in the road
  • Cover the stockpile with a weighted tarp to protect from rain