Maintaining a beautiful, flourishing garden takes effort. Hours spent tending plants can lead to eye-catching incentives in the form of succulent produce and vibrant flowers. However, all of your efforts could be in vain if natural and man-made forces demolish the topsoil in your garden. Soil erosion is a common problem that could be hindering your efforts to grow healthy plants. Luckily, there are erosion control strategies that you can employ to keep your garden from perishing.
What is soil erosion?
By definition, erosion is a powerful force that shapes the landscape by removing or wearing away the Earth’s surface. Generally speaking, wind and water are the primary causes of soil erosion. Although, construction workers failing to adhere to soil restoration guidelines may be to blame in specific cases.
Any homeowner who has witnessed rain washing away nutrient-rich soil from their garden plot knows that even the mightiest gardens can’t escape this natural force. Note that soil erosion, which strips precious topsoil, is particularly devastating on plants.
How unregulated erosion affects your garden’s health
It’s easy to forget just how vital soil, particularly a well-developed topsoil layer, is to your garden’s health. As the name implies, the topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil. It is also the most nutrient-rich layer, so plants depend on it to thrive.
Unfortunately, soil erosion directly removes topsoil, drastically reducing your garden’s ability to sustain life. Here are just a few steps you can take to limit the impact of soil erosion in your garden.
Develop healthy soil
Fortunately, healthy soils are already somewhat resistant to erosion. The microorganisms that naturally live in nutrient-rich topsoil produce substances that help bind soil components together. They also allow water to infiltrate and hydrate soil with ease, reducing the total amount of damaging runoff. You can improve the quality of your soil in many ways, including adding compost.
Plant ground cover
Plants excel at mitigating the damage caused by soil erosion. Their roots keep water from carrying soil away. Additionally, leaves can provide coverage to protect the earth from havoc-wreaking wind and rain. Purposefully planting ground cover that complements your garden amplifies these effects by increasing the number of plants. Ground cover has the additional benefit of limiting bare ground where weeds can start to grow.
Many people already use mulch for gardening, but did you know that it helps prevent erosion? The mulch interlocks over the ground, preventing wind and water from reaching the soil and carrying it away. Mulch also benefits the earth by adding nutrients and reducing evaporation.
Create a rain garden
Runoff from a rainstorm can be incredibly damaging. One possible solution to this problem is to control the runoff by creating a rain garden. This landscaping technique is designed to channel and collect water that would otherwise flow over your garden. With an innovative mindset and a little creative flair, you can transform your rain garden into a beautiful addition to your backyard.
Change how you water
Human activity can also be responsible for devastating soil erosion. In particular, watering your garden in a way that produces large amounts of runoff will significantly contribute to soil disintegration. Try to implement more focused watering, such as drip irrigation. Also, try to only water when your garden needs it to reduce the risk of runoff. These techniques will, ultimately, help you conserve water.
Controlling soil erosion will help your garden flourish
While it’s impossible to eliminate soil erosion, there are many steps you can take to reduce the problem. By retaining a healthy topsoil layer, your garden has a better chance of thriving. Make sure the precious minutes invested in your beautiful, vibrant garden don’t go to waste.