Erosion, in short, is the occurrence of soil eroding or shifting to another place. It creates “bald spots” on the area and causes nutrition loss, ultimately making it impossible for plants to grow.
Besides, it is not just a farming or gardening issue, but an environmental problem as well. Eventually, it can eradicate fishes and other animals by accumulating gravels in the rivers and ponds from the erosion with clogging drainage and waterways.
Although soil erosion occurs naturally via rain or wind, there are many ways to prevent it from happening. Whether you’re a farmer or a landowner, it’s in your hands to stop it.
How to Prevent Erosion in Your Farmland?
One of the biggest nightmares of a farmer is soil erosion. Soil infertility, sedimentation, low crop yields, etc., are only some of the problems induced by it. So taking measures to prevent it is extremely important, and here’s how you can do that.
Tree roots do an excellent job of holding the soil together. The older the tree is, the better and stronger the roots are, making it the best choice against erosion. Hence, if there’s any steep slope, planting trees can help prevent erosion. It is especially advisable for when the hill is near any riverbanks to avoid sedimentation.
Furthermore, try to plant trees that are at least a few months older. It is to minimize the time for the roots to become stronger.
Cover Bare Soil
Bare soil is the most liable to soil erosion. It is an easy target for water and or wind to rob the soil of its nutrient layer. So to cover those bare soils, you can try planting trees, grass, or shrubs. You can also try mulching or placing rocks in between smaller areas.
However, make sure to keep your soil covered throughout the year no matter what. By doing so, you can easily avoid having to deal with erosion.
Using Fiber or Coir Logs
On steep slopes, water can stream down easily. This way, it takes the soil or now muddy water along with it, causing erosion. As they’re more prone to erode, you must ensure to implement a few methods.
One of the ways is to use a fiber or coir log. They’re usually made from a fibrous material and acts as a barrier against flowing water. Thus, the soil soaks up the water instead of running down the slope.
Likewise, placing them all around the slope, at best eight-meter apart, will do the job. To keep the logs in place, you can plant trees in them or use a wooden stick.
Use Erosion Blankets or Mats
Similar to using the logs, erosion blankets or mats work well on steep slopes. The material is mainly a mesh of fiber with a mulch layer on top. So they’re more durable and keep the mulch together in place.
With normal lands, you can just lay the blanket over the seeded area to stop erosion. In the case of steep slopes, for best results, you can create a restraint to make the water flow over the top of the blanket instead of it going beneath. For that, dig a small channel on the top of the slope.
Next, cover it and the entire hill with the blanket. Fill the covered channel with soil and then fold the mat over to create a log securing the soil in place.
Farmers mainly perform tillage to prepare the soil for plantation, but frequent tillage can make the soil loose and ruin its quality.
Therefore, it makes it easy for soil erosion to occur. The loose soil is more prone to get swept or washed away by wind and water easily. So try to avoid tillage as much as possible or search for other similar machines or equipment for deep sowing.
On the other hand, you can also try mulch tillage or the mulch-till system. It uses equipment not as harsh as a tractor. It mostly touches the soil’s surface.
Terracing or Retaining Walls
Another way to grow plants on those steep slopes conveniently is by terracing or adding retaining walls. You can use your steep slopes most conveniently and profitably for farming with this.
The goal of terracing is to turn the steep slope into a staircase arrangement. It makes it more accessible for farming while stopping erosion with its even surface. You can use stones, bricks, concrete or vegetable buffer strips, etc., for the rims.
Soil erosion can cause severe fluctuation in profit for farmers. If it’s not taken measures immediately, you can lose acres of good profitable land easily. But preventing them takes just a few steps and persistence for year-round benefits.
How to Stop Erosion in Your Yard
Soil erosion is ugly and can be the cause of making your yard look like one. It can happen even in the smallest of yards but stopping it might be easier than you think.
Planting Grass and Shrubbery
Plants, bigger or smaller, provide nutrition to the soil. More importantly, they keep it fertile, holding the earth together with the roots to prevent erosion. Besides, they don’t only serve a practical purpose in the yard. You can create many differences in your garden by covering the bare soil with grass and or shrubs.
Accordingly, you can plant flowers or decorative weeds as well. You can go even be creative with it by making topiaries. Therefore, it serves a decorative purpose too.
An easy way to make sure there is no bare soil is to over-seed your yard. It will help build up a dense amount of roots under the soil surface, stopping water or wind from eroding it.
Also, planting wildflowers this way will enhance the beauty of your yard by adding stability to your soil. They’re cheap but give an enchanting look to your garden effortlessly.
However, if you want to plant other flowers, you can go with daisies, poppies, etc. They’ll add a unique look to your garden while keeping the soil in place.
Adding Rocks and Mulching
Mulching and adding rocks are convenient ways to keep the bare soils covered. You can very simply use these methods to cover any area of land. Many gardeners use rocks to hold the soil in place to stop water from washing the soil away. You can buy small polished stones and place them near streams, waterways, or bare ground.
It also reduces excess water absorption and gives a relaxing vibe to the garden. Another popular method among both gardeners and farmers is mulching. It keeps the top layer of soil protected from getting washed or blown away by water and wind. Consider adding mulching to your bare lands where you don’t plan to grow any plants.
As we all know, flooding of water is a major cause of soil erosion. Excess water that the soil can’t absorb creates puddles washing away the top layer of the earth. So remember to frequently water as required and not overflow your land. You can set up a time to water the plants, advisably around six to ten in the morning.
Depending on the weather and season, adjust your watering schedule, and make sure to water at least two to three times a week. Thus, it will prevent soil erosion along with giving you healthier plants.
Create Pavements or Path for Walking
Compressed soil can quickly form streams or puddles, causing the soil to wash down. Any person or animal walking or maybe machines running on bare earth will cause it to compact.
Therefore, it makes the soil dense enough to lose its absorption capacity. It also makes it tough to grow plants as well. So consider creating a separate pavement for walking in your yard.
Concrete, bricks, and stones are the most popular for creating pavements. They also make your yard or garden look more upscale.
Having an appropriate drainage system can make significant changes in your garden. It’s crucial to have a gutter or channel to drain the excess water out. Every house or building has a drainage system for the natural flow of water and to prevent flooding. But having a proper drain is essential to get the most benefits.
It will ensure all the excess water accumulated in your garden caused by heavy rain, etc., drains out. So consider checking and revamp your drainage system.
Lastly, keep your garden erosion-free and beautiful with a little effort. Whether you care about your garden’s appearance or simply about the environment or both, you could make a difference in some simple ways.
Soil erosion leads to many disasters and land losses almost every year globally. But thanks to such practices and the development of new gadgets and methods, the numbers have gone down exponentially. Also, it’s necessary to check the temperature of the soil monthly or annually.
Therefore, understanding the cause is an essential step towards preventing anything. Start by figuring out the reason why your land is apt to or is facing erosion.
While fighting against a natural cause is not a piece of cake, implementing any of the simple methods explained can also do wonders for you. With persistence and perseverance, it’s not difficult.