According to Scientific American, it takes 1,000 years to generate just three inches of topsoil. At the present rate of decay, the world only has a 60-year supply left to grow its food. Scientists blame climate change, bad farming habits, and erosion. On a smaller scale, the same damage is occurring to landscapes across the country, but there are ways to stop the soil on slopes and hillsides from washing away.
How Does Erosion Damage the Landscape?
Erosion occurs when water, wind and gravity wash away soil from slopes and hillsides, making it harder for vegetation to grow and creating problems like these:
1. Loss of nutrients from heavy rains
2. Clogged drains in yards, pools and neighborhoods
3. Higher risk of flooding from clogged drains
4. Decline in air quality because of impurities in the soil
5. Accumulation of silt at the end of driveways
6. Damage to driveways and swimming pools
7. Unhealthy living conditions for marine life
8. Buildup of mud in creeks and streams
Not all slopes are the same, and the fixes for hillside erosion range from simple to complex. Florida has a flat terrain, but its sandy soil is more likely to wash away than clay. Practices like planting grass and shrubs, building terraces, and improving drainage are effective but harder in some areas than others. Sizable areas or steep slopes may be more difficult, and professionals at one of the lake management companies in Florida can help.
Five Ways to Stop Hillside Erosion
For a slope with less than a 33% grade, mulch can be used alone or with plants to keep dirt from washing away. A three-inch layer of weighty material, such as rock or shredded bark, works better than lighter options.
2. Planting groundcovers, grasses and shrubs
Plants with varying root systems hold the soil together on slopes. Indigenous shrubs, grasses and groundcovers are popular because they’re hardy and easy to grow. Plants like creeping juniper and bougainvillea do well in tropical environments, and ferns thrive in shady areas.
3. Retaining walls and terraces
A retaining wall provides rigid support for different levels of soil on each side. Concrete is the least expensive building material, and stone is a time-honored classic. Sometimes, retaining walls resemble stair steps, creating a terrace for vegetation at each level.
4. Erosion control blankets
Erosion control blankets may be made from biodegradable materials like coco mats and straw, or they may be reinforced with polypropylene to make them last longer. When placed on a slope, they hold soil in place.
Sandbags are used to divert the flow of water away from buildings, driveways and other areas. They can be used with plastic sheeting to make them more effective. If not contaminated, the bags can be dried out and stored for future use.
Maintaining the stability of slopes improves appearance, increases property value, and makes it safe for wildlife. The best solution is the use of sustainable supplies that work with the natural features of the property.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.