Introduction: How to Plant Groundcover Vines for Soil Erosion
Plant ground cover vines. Bare soil is easily swept away by wind and water, the two main causes of erosion. Plant roots hold the soil together, while their leaves block rain and stop it breaking the soil apart.Turf, ornamental grass, and low, spreading shrubs work best, since they cover the soil completely.If you have any bare ground, try to establish plant cover as soon as possible to limit erosion.If the ground is mostly flat (slope of 3:1 or less), this might be enough to solve the problem. Steep slopes erode faster, so they need more protection.
Top Ground Cover Vines To Stop Soil Erosion
Step 1: Add Mulch or Rocks
This will weigh down the soil and protect the seeds and young plants underneath from getting washed away. It also slows the absorption of water to reduce runoff. Grass clippings or bark chips work especially well.If you plant something in the soil, the plant’s roots can hold the soil together. If you don’t plant anything, then keep the soil covered with mulch. You can also add mulch around plants to add another layer of protection or to keep the soil warm.
Step 2: Use Mulch Matting to Hold Vegetation on Slopes.
Fiber mulch mats or erosion control mats are a layer of mulch held together in a fiber mesh. This structure holds the mulch together in areas where normal mulch would be washed or blown away. Lay the mat over seeds or young plants.On steep slopes, dig a small trench at the top of the hill. Lay the top of the mat in the trench, fill it up with soil, then fold the mat back over the top. This helps water run over the top of the mat, where the mat will slow it down, instead of traveling underneath it.
Step 3: Put Down Fiber Logs
Another option for erosion control on steep slopes is a series of rolled up logs or "wattles" made from fibrous material (like straw). Water running down the slope will slow down when it hits the logs, soaking into the soil instead of carrying mud downhill. Put the logs down across the slope, 10 to 25 feet (3–8m) apart. Hold them in place with wooden stakes or sturdy, living plants.You can plant seeds directly in the logs to protect them while they grow.
Step 4: Build Retaining Walls
Badly eroded slopes will continue to collapse downhill until they are stabilized. A retaining wall at the base of the slope will block the soil and slow down the collapse. This gives grass or other plants time to grow and help the soil hold together.Give the wall a 2% slope on the side (perpendicular to the incline) so that water flows off to the side instead of pooling.You may build the wall from concrete blocks, rock, or wood. Only use wood treated with a preservative to prevent rot.Use retaining walls around flowerbeds and other raised soil areas as well.You may need local government approval to build these structures.
Step 5: Avoid Soil Compaction.
When people, animals, or machines travel over soil, they press it down, compacting the soil into a dense layer. Since there is less space between dirt particles in compacted soil, water has a hard time draining through, and carries soil on the surface downhill instead. Walk on paving stones or cleared paths instead of trampling the soil, especially when it is wet. Adding compost or manure can also help by attracting earthworms, which break the soil into looser clumps.Compacted soil also makes it harder for plants to become established, since the roots have trouble breaking through.Compaction always lead to net erosion. The water may run off of compacted soil, but as it runs off it generates more force, which can increase the erosion in other areas.
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