A sloping yard or a house built onto even a small hill can pose a challenge when it comes to erosion issues. Although it may initially appear as if the main issues are with the landscape, eventually erosion can compromise the foundation or footings of the main structure. By controlling erosion in the surrounding yard, you will be protecting your home from future problems.

Break Up the Slope

The first key to any erosion control method is to break up the slope so water can't easily create gulleys or wash away the surface soil. You can use several methods to do this, including:

  • Decorative barriers. Well-placed boulders and landscape timbers, laid across the slope, will reroute water.

  • Terraces. Building a terrace into the slope help level the ground slightly, which combats erosion. A gentle slope may only need one terrace, while a more severe slope is better served by a stair-step design of several terraces.

  • Living barriers. Plants, whether a deep-rooted grass, decorative perennials, or trees, will help anchor the soil so it doesn't erode as easily.

  • Drains. Gravel beds or french drains are often installed to help carry away the water as it percolates into the soil on a slope.

The best solution is usually a combination of living barriers with terraces or decorative barriers. These will work together to keep the soil where it belongs.

Temporary Solutions

When using a living barrier, you will need a temporary solution in place until the plants become established. Construction and landscape companies typically use a combination of methods.

First, any permanent erosion control methods are installed. This includes terraces and barriers, along with any below-ground drainage that is necessary. Then, the permanent living barriers are planted. This includes sod, trees, and shrubs. Finally, temporary erosion control methods are applied to give the living barriers time to rot deeply without suffering any erosion damage.

Over new sod, temporary barriers usually consist of plastic mesh, staked down to help hold everything in place. Straw may also be strewn over the area. In areas without grass, plastic sheets or thick mulch may used. This allows moisture to wash over the top of the ground without carrying away any soil.

Once your main plants are established and your permanent barrier are in place, you can plant colorful annual flowers and other small plants to help soften the barriers. When completed, your lawn will be erosion-resistant and will provide many textures and colors to please the eye. For more instructions and advice, speak with professionals like Specialty Construction Supply.