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Soil Erosion Control Methods

We can break down soil erosion control methods into two categories (but they are often used in conjunction with each other). One group of methods for preventing erosion entails using plants. The other falls into the general class, "hardscape." A retaining wall presents a formal appearance, while another hardscape option, dry creek beds, is an informal feature. Mulching can also help control erosion.

How to Build Stone Retaining Walls
I wouldn't need much prodding to choose putting up a stone retaining wall as a soil erosion control method. I love working with stone and love the look of a stone wall. The project described in this article has its limitations (as I explain) but is certainly worth considering as one of your possible options.

Building Dry Creek Beds on Hillsides for Soil Erosion Control
Like retaining walls, dry creeks can be effective on both aesthetic and functional levels. For aesthetics, supply your feature with suitable plants. In terms of function, remember, this soil erosion control method constitutes a drainage system of sorts, so you'll have to plan in advance regarding where the water is to spill out when your feature is not in "dry" mode.

Using Mulch to Prevent Erosion
Where would we be in our landscaping work without mulch? Among the benefits mulch provides are its weed suppression, as everyone knows. But did you know that it also regulates soil temperature and saves you on your watering bill? And add this talent to mulch's resume: it can help you in your efforts at erosion control.

Sumac Shrubs for Fall Foliage and Soil Erosion Prevention
Sumac can be a good choice to plant on a hill for erosion control. As with any plant, research it first before you start growing it. It has its pros (e.g., fall foliage color) and cons (it spreads via a robust root system). The fact that it spreads is a double-edged sword: you may have to worry about containing it, but that vigor helps it retain soil.

Forsythia for Soil Erosion Control?
When you hear forsythia mentioned, holding back the earth on a hillside is perhaps not your first thought. Forsythia's claim to fame is its display of yellow flowers in spring. But don't hold its good looks against it. Using forsythia on sunny slopes -- supplemented by mulch and landscape fabric -- is an effective method for preventing soil erosion.

Redtwig Dogwood
Redtwig dogwood has a lot to offer, especially the type with variegated leaves that I present here. The value its foliage and bark offers is apparent to all (the red bark is its signature feature). These shrubs also bear spring flowers that may eventually lead to berries. But if you're seeking soil erosion control, its best feature may lie elsewhere.

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