Seven ways to prevent Soil Erosion

Preventing soil erosion can help safeguard local water sources as well as help protect the environment.

The level of soil erosion in a certain area is dependent on two main factors:

How much rain and wind the area receives on a yearly basis and how much plant vegetation exists. Since it’s nearly impossible to control the rain and wind, one of the most effective soil erosion tactics is controlling plant life.

Whether you are planting a new flower bed or planting crops, here are seven sediment control tips to help you prevent soil erosion:

  1. Plant Vegetation – One of the most effective forms of erosion control is planting vegetation such as trees, shrubs, and ground cover, especially on sloped surfaces. The roots of the plants (as they grow bigger and stronger) will help keep the soil in place.
  2. Plant a Windbreak – Planting barrier rows of trees (or windbreaks) along the windward side of your land can help keep the soil from eroding due to high winds, which can easily move dirt and soil. Other effective windbreaks include bushes & shrubs or even a plastic snow fence.
  3. Lay Mulch – Not only can mulch help keep the ground soil damp but it also helps prevent soil erosion since the topsoil is not as likely to be blown or washed away with that top layer.
  4. Practice Sediment Control – Diversion dikes, sediment traps, sediment bases, and silt fences are all effective tools that can prevent soil from eroding, especially at construction sites, where soil plots are often left bare and exposed.
  5. Conservation Tillage – Ideal for farmers and home gardeners to prevent soil erosion, conservation tillage involves using vegetation as a boundary, instead of stripping everything away. For example, a garden in a backyard may have a strip of grass bordering the garden to help prevent erosion.
  6. Contour Farming – Contouring farming refers to planting crops along the natural contours of the land (or along the slope of a hill) instead of straight rows. The soil erosion prevention method can also be applied to gardening.
  7. Keep the Soil Rich in Nutrients – Heavy soil that is rich in organic matter is far less likely to be eroded or blown/washed away than soil that is dry and exposed to a lot of sunlight.

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