Erosion is the loss of a layer of soil. When the layers are eroded, the soil loses nutrients, clogs rivers, and eventually turns the area into a desert. Although erosion occurs naturally, human activities can make it worse.
Method 1 of 2: Applying Basic Erosion Prevention Techniques
Step 1. Plant grass and shrubs
Barren soil is easily washed away by water and wind, which are the two main causes of erosion. The roots of the plant will hold the soil, while the leaves will hold the rain and prevent it from hitting and breaking the soil. Grasses, ornamental grasses, and shrubs are very suitable to be planted because they can cover all parts of the soil.
- If there is vacant land, immediately fill the soil with plants to reduce erosion.
- If most of the ground is flat (with a slope of 3:1 or less), this may solve the problem. Steep soil erodes more quickly and requires more protection.
Step 2. Add rocks or mulch
These two materials make the soil heavy and protect the seedlings and young plants beneath it from the impact of water. It will also slow the absorption of water to reduce runoff. You can use chopped grass and bark chips.
If the soil is not planted with anything, keep the soil covered with mulch at all times. You can also mulch around the plant to add an extra layer of protection and keep the soil warm
If there are plants in the soil, their roots will blend into the soil and you may not need to add rocks or mulch.
Step 3. Use a mulch mat to hold the plants on the slopes
Place the mat on top of the seedlings or young plants. On steep slopes, make a small ditch at the top of the hill first. Place the mulch mat in the trench, fill it with soil, then fold the mulch mat up. This allows the water to flow slowly over the mat instead of flowing under it.
Mulch mats or fiber erosion control mats are layers of mulch held together in a fiber net. This structure will hold the mulch in areas where it would normally wash off the mulch
Step 4. Install the spool from the fiber material
Another option to prevent erosion on steep slopes is to place a kind of log made of fiber-containing material (eg straw). The water flowing down the slope slows down as it reaches the logs, and seeps into the ground instead of carrying the mud down. Place fiber spools along the slope, with a distance of about 3–8 m for each spool. Strengthen its position by sticking a wooden pole or a strong living plant.
- You can plant the seedlings directly in the saplings to protect them while they are growing.
- If you plant the seeds directly into the saplings, you will still need stakes (sticks) to keep the saplings from moving, at least until the roots of the seedlings are firmly planted in the soil.
Step 5. Build a retaining wall
Slopes that have been severely eroded will continue to erode until their shape is stable. Retaining walls at the base of the slope are useful for holding the soil and slowing erosion. This will give the grass and other plants time to grow and blend into the soil.
- Make a 2% slope on the side of the wall (perpendicular to the slope) so that the water flows to the side instead of pooling.
- You can build walls from concrete blocks, wood, or stone. Only use wood that has been treated with preservatives so it doesn't rot.
- Place retaining walls around flower beds and raised areas of soil.
- You may have to ask the relevant agency for permission if you want to create this structure.
Step 6. Improve drainage
All buildings must have gutters or canals to effectively drain water out of the garden towards the water catchment area. If the drainage is not good, the topsoil may be washed away by heavy rains.
Areas with heavy water flow may require drainage pipes that are perforated underground
Step 7. Reduce watering if possible
Watering the garden excessively can accelerate erosion because it will erode the soil. If possible, use only a small amount of water, or just install a drip irrigation system. This system drains only a small amount of water at a time so that the water does not flood the surface and carry away the topsoil.
You can also install drip irrigation in the soil to run water directly to the roots.
Step 8. Avoid soil compaction
When animals, humans, or machines pass on the ground, they will press on it and make it compact. Because the distance between each particle in the dense soil becomes tight, it will be difficult for water to seep in, and on the contrary it will bring the soil layer to a lower surface. Avoid stepping on the ground, and walk on paving or trails, especially when conditions are wet. Adding manure or compost can also be useful because it will attract earthworms, which will loosen the soil.
- Compacted soil also makes it difficult for plants to grow because the roots will have difficulty penetrating them.
- Compacted soil always results in net erosion. In compacted soil, the water may simply flow, but the flow will be very powerful, and may increase erosion in other areas.
Method 2 of 2: Preventing Erosion of Agricultural Land
Step 1. Prevent landslides by planting trees
Tree roots are a powerful tool for protecting soil that is steep or constantly subject to erosion. Plant trees native to your area on riverbanks and steep slopes to reduce erosion.
- Barren soil around the tree should still be covered with grass or mulch for best results.
- Remember, old trees are more effective at preventing landslides than new trees. It may take some time for the new tree roots to become strong enough.
Step 2. Reduce tillage
Deep and frequent plowing of the soil makes the soil compact and susceptible to water erosion, which is covered by loose soil that is easily swept away by the wind. Avoid cultivating the soil with a large coulter or other equipment that can plow the soil deeply.
This conservation tillage method will also reduce the number of vehicles running on the ground, thereby reducing soil compaction
If you can't avoid this, try using a topsoil tillage system or mulch treatment without touching the subsoil.
Step 3. Protect weak plants with the strip cropping method (placing plants in groups in a longitudinal line)
Weakly rooted or infrequently planted plants are more susceptible to erosion. Plant these plants in longitudinal stripes, interspersed with erosion-resistant crops, such as thick grass or legumes.
- Arrange the plants to follow the contours of the slopes.
- If possible, arrange the plant so that it is perpendicular to the direction of the wind.
Step 4. Remove livestock from plants that are in their infancy (wet season spelling)
Grasslands will not be healthy and resistant to erosion if livestock are allowed to graze all year round. For best results, do not leave cattle on grazing land in the rainy season to allow grass to regrow.
- This may become ineffective if other people release their livestock on the grazing land.
- Whenever possible, always keep livestock away from riverbanks and heavily eroded soil.
Step 5. Keep the soil covered all year round
Barren soil is more susceptible to erosion than soil that is covered with something. Aim to keep at least 30% of the land in the pasture covered, and ideally 40% or more.
After the plants are harvested, leave the remnants of the harvest on the field to be used as mulch. Alternatively, you can grow strong and sturdy plants
Step 6. Control runoff on hillsides with drains
Runoff (water flow) will concentrate into a narrow area as it flows across the ground. Points where concentrated runoff reaches slopes are particularly susceptible to erosion. You can make a canal of cement or lined drains to direct the flow of water to a safe drainage system. Also build this channel in the sewer reservoir.
- Another option is to build swales to direct runoff to the pond. By making several swales along the hillside, the volume of runoff will be drastically reduced, and you won't have to create drains.
- Do not make drains on slopes with a steepness of more than 1.5:1.
Step 7. Turn hillsides into terraces
Very steep hillsides are almost impossible to cultivate. Instead, turn the hill into a terrace by creating a retaining wall that crosses the slope. Level the soil surface between each wall so that the area is flat and resistant to erosion.
- If you are working on a construction project, check with your local government about laws and regulations related to soil erosion.
- Build awareness in your community to be willing to help others to tackle soil erosion. Plant trees on bare public land.
- In areas where there are frequent strong winds or sandstorms, build a fence or plant windbreak trees around your property. Trees hold and hold sand better than fences.
- Plant vegetables in rows across slopes, not top to bottom.