Combating Soil Erosion: 3 Steps

15 May 2017
 Categories: Environmental, Blog

If you are a landowner, you may be concerned about the impact of soil erosion. While the ground needs a certain amount of moisture to support plants and other vegetation, if the ground absorbs too much water, it could begin to erode. Below is a guide to 3 ways you can prevent and control soil erosion on your land.

Plant cover crops

If you have an expanse of bare earth which is not being used, it will be particularly at risk of erosion caused by water and the wind. You can help to protect the soil against erosion by planting a cover crop such as corn or soybeans. These cover crops are low maintenance and offer a range of benefits. Firstly, the cover crop will help to protect the soil from direct rainfall. The force of heavy rain hitting exposed soil can cause it to breakdown. Cover crops will also absorb any excess water which collects in the soil, reducing the risk of erosion.

Relocate and clear downspouts, gutters and drainage ditches

If your land is eroded in locations which are close to your home or other outbuildings, you should carefully examine the site of any gutters and downspouts. During heavy rain, water may overflow from downspouts, gutters and drainage ditches, causing the soil to erode. You should ensure that downspouts do not direct water onto your land and that any gutters and drainage ditches are free of debris. You should also consider having the drainage system feed into a water storage tank. Doing so will allow you to capture rainwater so you can apply it to the soil in a controlled fashion during the warmer summer months.

Use mulch

Mulch is made using old bark, wood chips, straw or grass cuttings. When this material is spread over an area of exposed soil, it can help to protect the area from rainfall, while also keeping some moisture locked into the ground when the sun shines. You should add mulch to the edges of land which contains crops while spreading it liberally over fallow fields which include areas of exposed earth. Bags of mulch can be purchased at your local garden or farm supply store. Alternatively, you may wish to make your own mulch by using a wood chipper or mulching lawn mower. If you would like to find out more about the steps you can take to protect your soil, you should contact an environmental contractor today.