9 Ways to Stop Erosion on a Budget

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Green Living

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Topsoil is disappearing at a rate of 1% every year. While many may think that this is only a problem for farmers, it actually affects everyone, especially those who enjoy gardening or maintaining a lawn. Thankfully, most lawn erosion problems can be prevented.

Here are nine inexpensive ways to stop erosion:

1. Collect rainwater using a barrel or other system and use it to water your garden.

2. Plant trees and shrubs, especially near slopes and shorelines, to reduce runoff by up to 50%. Trees can also provide shade for your home.

3. Grow plants on slopes, as grass alone is not effective in preventing erosion.

4. Create a rain garden to absorb excess moisture and prevent runoff.

5. Use mulch whenever possible to protect the soil.

6. Quickly cover bald spots with mulch and plant something to prevent erosion.

7. Build terraces or retaining walls to keep water and soil from leaving your yard.

8. Plant native plants with absorbent root systems to prevent erosion.

9. Avoid tilling your yard.

Originally published on January 11, 2012.

FAQs on Preventing Erosion

What are the main causes of erosion?

The primary cause of soil erosion is water, including rain, floods, rivers, and oceans. However, the four main types of soil erosion are splash, sheet, rill, and gully erosion.

What methods can be used to prevent soil erosion?

There are several methods to prevent or reduce soil erosion, including limiting cattle overgrazing, planting more trees, contour plowing, and using vegetation covers.

What plants are effective in preventing soil erosion?

Almost any plant can help prevent soil erosion, as they act as ground covers. However, having a large number of plants in one area, such as a cluster of trees or shrubs, is the most effective way to prevent erosion.


1. What is erosion?

Erosion is the process of soil, rock, or other materials being moved by wind, water, or other natural processes. It can cause damage to landscapes and lead to loss of fertile soil, making it difficult for plants to grow.

2. How can erosion be prevented?

There are several inexpensive ways to prevent erosion, including planting vegetation, using mulch, creating terraces, building retaining walls, and installing erosion control blankets. These methods help to stabilize the soil and prevent it from being washed away.

3. What types of vegetation are best for erosion control?

Grass, shrubs, and trees are all effective for erosion control. The roots of these plants help to hold the soil in place and prevent it from being washed away. Native plants are often the best choice, as they are well adapted to the local environment and require less maintenance.

4. How does mulch help prevent erosion?

Mulch helps to keep the soil moist and prevents it from drying out, which can make it more vulnerable to erosion. It also helps to protect the soil from the impact of raindrops, which can cause soil particles to be dislodged and washed away.

5. What are terraces?

Terraces are flat, level sections of land that are built on a slope to prevent erosion. They are created by cutting into the slope and building up a retaining wall to hold the soil in place. Terraces can be used for planting crops or for landscaping purposes.

6. How do retaining walls prevent erosion?

Retaining walls are built to hold back soil and prevent it from being washed away. They can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, stone, or wood. Retaining walls can be used in conjunction with other erosion control methods, such as terraces or erosion control blankets.

7. What are erosion control blankets?

Erosion control blankets are made from biodegradable materials and are used to cover bare soil. They help to stabilize the soil and prevent it from being washed away. The blankets also provide a surface for vegetation to grow on, which can further help to prevent erosion.

8. How can erosion be prevented on construction sites?

Erosion can be prevented on construction sites by using silt fences, sediment basins, and other erosion control measures. These measures help to prevent soil and other materials from being washed into nearby waterways, which can cause pollution and damage to aquatic ecosystems.

9. How can homeowners prevent erosion on their property?

Homeowners can prevent erosion on their property by planting vegetation, using mulch, and creating rain gardens. Rain gardens are designed to capture and absorb rainwater, which can help to prevent erosion and reduce the risk of flooding. Homeowners can also use erosion control blankets and other measures to stabilize slopes and prevent soil from being washed away.

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