All soils can suffer from erosion, but some types of soils are more vulnerable than others. For example, soils that have dispersible subsoils are much more subject to soil erosion by gully formation and tunneling.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about soil erosion. In the world of agriculture, erosion removes some valuable topsoil, which is the most productive part of the soil profile for growing crops. The resulting rills and gullies can make it almost impossible to cultivate plants with any real reliability. In terms of infrastructure, soil erosion can wipe out roads, bridges and utilities if left unchecked and unresolved. In the natural world, many beautiful natural formations such as cliff sides and reefs can be severely damaged by erosion.

Plants And Tools That Can Prevent Soil Erosion

There are some specific types of plants you can use to help prevent erosion. Farmers often plant trees and grass in strategic areas to both cover and bind the soil, making it more difficult for wind and water erosion to cause damage. The best types of plants to use for erosion prevention include herbs, wildflowers and small trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs can act as windbreakers when surrounding gardens or farmland. Creepers are also idea for erosion prevention because rather than growing straight up, they spread across the ground.

There are also a wide variety of other types of tools and technologies that can be used to prevent erosion. Soil mats and blankets are commonly used. They are made with biodegradable materials like straw, mulch, woodchips and coconut fiber. These mats cover the soil and are held in place with biodegradable spikes. These mats eventually decay and turn into fertilizer, and in the meantime hold the soil in place.

Smart contouring and terracing on farmland and large areas of open land can also help to not just reduce erosion losses, but also conserve rainwater for reuse.

What To Watch For

Concerned that erosion might become an issue on your land? Here are 3 things to be on the watch for:

  • High winds: Winds can quickly take layers off your soil, so if you know you have land that is susceptible to high winds and storms, take the appropriate steps to guard against it.
  • Gravel, mulch and soil movement: If you have gravel, mulch or soil streaming out of your gardens, flower beds and farmland, this is a sign that you have problems with water flow.
  • Gullies and furrows: These are obvious signs that soil has washed away and erosion has begun.

Why not contact one of our specialists at Soil Advocates for more soil erosion tips.

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