The best defense against erosion on your property is preventing it in the first place, but knowing how to prevent erosion can be a difficult thing to figure out depending on your yard. Soil erosion is the most common complaint of many residential and commercial areas. Soil erosion occurs when the top soil from an area is carried away by wind or water. While this is a naturally occurring process, this erosion also causes problems for people looking to plant various vegetation.
Steep slopes and gullies are common in Utah and these landforms can result in the loss of top soil with the increase in storm run-off that they create. Preventing soil erosion is possible, with the right methods and resources. There are many products and methods for erosion control, so determining your problem is the first step to finding the right treatment.
If you have slopes on your property, you are inevitably going to be susceptible to soil erosion. For slopes, you need to plant vegetation with strong roots that will stabilize the soil and prevent run-off. Planting water wise vegetation like groundcover, trees, grasses, and shrubs with strong root systems will break up the rain run-off and reduce soil erosion. Common grasses planted for erosion control that are native to Utah include Indian Ricegrass, Bid Bluestem, Purple Threeawn, Sideoats Gama, and Buffalograss. If you prefer woody plants to control your erosion, consider planting one of these plants, also native to Utah: Desert Willow, Greenleaf Manzanita, Kinnikinnick, and the Creeping Barberry. If planting vegetation is not enough, or not an option for you, there are several other methods to try.
If you just need to prevent soil erosion and you have no slopes, mulching might be an option for you. Mulching works by covering the soil with mulch to keep it moist and ideal for planting while also avoiding top soil runoff. Ecoblankets are another option that works similar to mulch but instead of using mulch, a net or blanket is used to cover the topsoil. Ecoblankets or nets are typically made of jute, nylon, or straw, but there are also synthetic ones as well. Ecoblankets go on top of and cover your soil to prevent and control soil erosion. Ecoblankets require little work; you just lay it over the soil and leave it. There are many other options to explore like terracing and using stake bales of hay, so do your best to find out which option works best on your property and fits with you budget.