How To Control Slope Erosion
Slopes can provide privacy and keep our homes from busy streets, but they are also a problem after a drought when consistent rain comes. Erosion can be causing issues for our neighbors below when they aren’t taken care of. We’ve all heard about the mudslides in Malibu after the fires and then rain. Just because you can’t see the erosion in your yard and on your slopes doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
If can see roots exposed, then you have erosion. Also, you many Look for symptoms such as exposed roots, signs of splashing of soil or mud on pavement. You may not see it on your own property, but runoff from your yard may actually be happening down the street from you.
We all need to make sure we stabilize our slopes before the big El Nino arrives.
Here are some things you can do to control your slopes:
- Barriers – These are things like timbers or stone that help divert the water flow.
Loose Stone – This stone is embedded into the slope to divert water flow as well. Often some kind of ground cover is planted along with these stones to make it look more aesthetically pleasing.
- Terraces – Terraces let the soak in so there is no run off. You will need to make sure that the water doesn’t collect at the back of whatever material you use. When building a terrace around around your trees you will want to make sure that the soil level isn’t raised – you could damage the tree.
- Plants are a great way to control your slope. The plants roots anchor in the soil to keep it stable. It can take a while to get the plants established depending on the plants you use. You might want to try grasses and plants native to the area to stabilize the slope. When watering the new plants on your slope be careful of the amount and the pressure. You don’t want to create even more instability by over watering. Turfgrass is also a great choice.
You may have seen sandbags, hay bales, mesh and plastic sheets on slopes. These can be used in a pinch, but most will wash away over time and need a more permanent solution.
If you will be planting grass or other plants on your slopes – you can use straw to keep everything in place and keep the water from running off. Germination blankets are also a great way to get grass and plants started on slopes. Or, you can call a landscaping service company to help with some sort of hydroseeding if you need it.
One of the most important things you want to check are your drains. If you have puddles and mushy wet spots in your yard, you may want to call a drainage specialist to help with your sprinklers and setting the zones properly. Often times we set our sprinkler systems, but our landscapes change and our property grading changes.
If we get heavy storms this winter as predicted, you will want to be prepared by controlling your slopes, checking your drainage and setting your irrigation systems appropriately.