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Erosion Control in the Landscape

Avoid the damage erosion can cause with these helpful tools.

April 17, 2024

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Erosion can happen anywhere on a homeowner’s property but one of the most common spots is within the landscape. Caused by strong winds, significant rainfall and runoff, erosion can impact both the soil and the plants in a negative way. 

Once a spot suffers from erosion, it will continue to happen if no steps are taken to address it. This can lead to long-term damage. However, there are multiple ways you can help.

Why Controlling Erosion Matters

Erosion occurs when soil is moved through wind or water. The process can quickly change the soil composition leading to a loss of nutrients that can impact your plants and greenery from thriving. It can also transform outdoor spaces by shrinking the landscape, making areas unusable. Too much erosion close to the foundation of the home can also have a negative impact.

Controlling erosion helps your plants to stay lush and healthy and keeps your outdoor space intact and functional for your entire family. 

Methods of Erosion Control

Regardless of what method you use for erosion control, the goal should be the same — to move water through the landscape to prevent ponding and erosion from occurring. There are a few options including drains and other products, but certain plants and grasses can also provide erosion control.

Erosion Control with Drainage

There are a variety of products that can help with erosion control, including:

  • French drains can look like a dry creek bed once fully installed. A perforated pipe goes underground and is then surrounded by gravel to redirect the water runoff without it having to pass over the soil. The pipe can also be covered with soil or mulch if you’d prefer to blend them into the landscape.
  • Catch basins collect stormwater runoff and and standing water and move it through drainage pipes. You can also add on a grate in order to prevent debris from clogging the pipes.
  • Atrium grates are an ideal option in areas where debris could impede a flat grate. The raised design helps collect and remove excess water and is durable enough to be put into areas where light foot traffic occurs.
  • Channel drains collect water runoff from around driveways, pools, tennis courts and more, redirecting the water away from these structures. 

Plants That Help with Erosion Control 

Thinking about organic material you can use to help with erosion control, mulch might be your first choice. This is a great way to protect bare soil in plant beds while also reducing the speed runoff occurs, slowing erosion. In addition to mulch, there are a variety of plants that help with erosion control.

Because native plants are adapted for the area, they’re great natural helpers when it comes to increasing soil infiltration and reducing runoff. Their strong roots can also stabilize sloped areas of the landscape and improve soil infiltration. 

Certain grasses and low-growing plants that creep along the ground can also help stabilize the soil, preventing topsoil loss and erosion. Some popular varieties among the very large assortment of possible options include:

Trees can also help protect sloped space in the landscape from erosion thanks to their extensive root system.

Other Products That Help with Erosion Control 

Other products available that can help with drainage include geo-textile fabric. This permeable fabric is multi-faceted. It can separate, reinforce and protect soil layers but can also filter and drain. Both woven and non-woven varieties are available, but for erosion-related issues non-woven types will work better. 

This material can be used to wrap French drains as well as for projects that require soil separation. It can also go underneath materials used for drainage solutions — like rocks — since it can help move water through the soil.

You can also use grass paver panels to make it easier for water to permeate the soil. The design of these panels redirects water through the subsurface and can be installed with turf and gravel.

How to Stop Erosion in a Landscape

Developing a plan to control erosion starts with the right equipment. Get best equipped for drainage with help from SiteOne. Learn about installation, troubleshooting and how to make drainage services part of your business. Check us out online or through our mobile app or stop into a SiteOne branch to discuss erosion control methods with a knowledgeable associate.

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