Moving water has power; all you have to do to see that is look at the Grand Canyon. Water can cut into stone, and grab soil, washing it away in a tide. This is called erosion, and it isn’t something that just happens in the wilds and wilderness. Soil erosion can happen anywhere there is water, and where that water is moving. So if your landscape is on a slope (as many are for drainage purposes), then you need to make sure you have taken steps to prevent erosion from happening.
How Soil Erosion Will Ruin Your Landscape
Your soil is the foundation of your landscape, but it needs structure in order to resist erosion. If you have a hill of dirt on your property, and it rains, then the flow of water from the rain is going to make that hill erode until it has moved in the direction of the water’s flow. Unless, that is, there is something preventing that soil from going with the flow.
That’s where structure comes into the picture.
The simplest form of structure is roots. Grass roots, flower roots, bush roots, tree roots, all of them dig into the soil and act as anchors. While flowing water will still steal some soil as it goes by, most of the soil will be held in place by these plants. Additionally, plants will slow the flow of the water, preventing it from doing damage as it goes by.
In addition to these green bulwarks, though, many property owners elect to build structures specifically to stop erosion. Soil nets, for example, assist plants in resisting the pull of erosion, and are particularly useful when grass seed has been planted, but hasn’t been given a chance to grow. Decorative stone retaining walls and other hardscaping projects help support soil, and slow erosion, while making a landscape look more attractive. Some property owners will even use clever ditches and decorative gutters to whisk rushing water away from their slopes, depositing it where it won’t harm their landscaping.
Soil erosion will happen, sooner or later. If there is a slope, it’s going to change over time. By evaluating the shape of the land, though, and taking proper steps, it’s possible to slow that erosion to a safe, barely noticeable crawl.