If you love your sloping landscape and want to plant some flowers or other vegetation on it to make it more attractive, you might think that you can just go out and begin planting. As much fun as this sounds, if you're new to planting on slopes, it's important to understand how disturbing that soil can create problems down the road. This guide explains what you need to know about soil erosion and how you can help prevent it, while still having a beautifully landscaped hillside.
What Soil Erosion Is and What It Does
Soil erosion is the weathering or washing away of the top layers of soil. When this occurs, vital nutrients that plants and flowers need go with it. Heavy rains and wind move the soil from one place to another.
The process of soil erosion is more common on slopes where tillage occurs for planting. Tilling loosens the soil, making it more susceptible to washing away. In addition to the loss of vital nutrients, soil suffering from erosion also loses its capacity to retain water.
Many parts of the world experience soil erosion at some level. This process occurs in North America, Asia, South America, Australia, New Zealand and throughout much of Europe. However, it is not just the area where the soil is moved from that suffers, but also the land where the soil is moved to also changes and can experience damage.
Preventing Soil Erosion Damage
- Dig a channel diverting excess water away from your sloped landscape. This drainage provides an outlet for the water in a different direction so that it doesn't fill up around your plants and then head straight down the slope.
- Design your sloped landscape by incorporating deep-rooted grasses and ground cover plants. The roots from these types of plants help keep the soil in place.
- Fertilize the soil as recommended for the plants and flowers you're using for the landscape design. In doing so, you'll help the soil replace some of the nutrients that erosion removes and deposits elsewhere.
- Build a small retaining wall around flowerbeds and other vegetation to help prevent the soil from moving down the hill.
Check the soil around your landscape frequently and try to fill any noticeable holes from soil erosion with dirt fill or potting mix. Ask a landscaper like Woodland Landscaping & Concrete LLC about other methods to prevent soil erosion. They can help you choose the right grasses and ground cover plants to help mitigate any damage that might occur if your area experiences high winds and rainstorms.