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How To Control Landscape Erosion

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Erosion is a common problem in gardens and other landscaping projects that occurs due to weather exposure and rainfall. Over time, soil will gradually be carried away, reducing the slope of hills and altering the shape and layout of your landscaping project. Fortunately, there are multiple methods that can be employed to keep erosion to a minimum and your landscape looking as good as new.


Riprap is a type of landscape decoration that takes chunks of stone and embeds them into the hillside of the area that is facing erosion. The broken-up rocks will disrupt the drainage of water running down the hill, slowing down erosion over time. The main advantage of using riprap is the ability to customize your hillside to your aesthetic desires by using different types and colors of rock, creating a truly unique landscaping installation while saving your hillside at the same time.


Planting plants on hillsides is one of the easiest ways to prevent water runoff from carrying away the topsoil. This is because plant roots will hold soil in place and absorb water before it is able to carry away the dirt. This is doubly true if you use mulch to anchor your plants in place: mulch will retain water and further disrupt erosion over time. Keep in mind that plants may struggle to take root at first, so you may have to put temporary retaining walls or baffles in place before you will see any visible reduction in erosion. Alternatively, an installation of riprap interspersed with plants can create an aesthetically pleasing hillside that is immune to most erosion.

Baffles and Terraces

Baffles, which are basically just smaller versions of terraces, are made out of either stone or wood, and create a small retaining wall in small steps up the hillside. This prevents water from draining downhill, and catches soil before it has the chance to wash away. Terraces are effectively the same, but are used on larger hills, as their walls can reach several feet high if necessary. Baffles and terraces will preserve a hillside and stop erosion extremely effectively: the only main downside is the amount of work it takes to install them. Crushed rock or gravel has to be installed against the retaining walls to allow proper drainage, and the depth of the retaining wall for terraces can necessitate excavation, which can significantly drive up installation and labor costs.