a collapsed field with a large 6-8 foot deep pit from soil erosion

Erosion Control: Why It Matters in Under 30 Seconds

It may not be the hottest topic in landscaping, but it definitely ranks among the most critical.

Landscape erosion control — active or passive — should be foundational to every landscape install. Here’s why.

exposed soil lifts on one side of a streambank
Fabric-encapsulated soil lift (FESL) construction is one erosion control method on streambanks; (photo/Maas Verde)

Erosion leads to dense, dry soils that don’t absorb much water. During rains, any water the soil cannot absorb remains above ground. This increases flood depth and velocity, endangering natural and human-built infrastructure through soil erosion and other factors.

a car engulfed in a flood
Flooding in Wharton, TX, 2016; (photo/Creative Commons)

To prevent the life-threatening effects of waterlogging, the first action is to improve the soil’s water absorption capacity by adding organic matter.

Adding just 1% of soil organic matter in the top 6 inches of soil yields an additional 20,000 gallons of water holding capacity per acre (Source: USDA).

Translation: Put organic mulch on your landscape.
Easier yet: Leave the leaves.

Erosion control techniques don’t end here, but they do start here.

Featured Image: Soil erosion can worsen over time, threatening property and infrastructure; (photo/John via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/shebalso/2146223172)

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