Dealing With A Quickly-Eroding Hillside? What Plants Can Help?

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If your home is constructed at the top of a steep and grassy hill, you may notice piles of topsoil and debris surrounding the bottom of the hill each time it rains. Over time, this erosion can harm the quality of your soil or even pollute nearby streams and rivers. However, constructing retaining walls and other physical measures to keep this erosion in check can be expensive. Can ordinary plants help prevent erosion while providing aesthetic appeal and cleaning the air? Read on to learn more about your best erosion control options.

Why are plants important when it comes to erosion control?

Erosion takes place when water or debris flows down a hillside, catching loose soil and taking it along for the ride. Over time, as this soil is unable to replenish itself, the shape of the hillside will change and the composition of the topsoil may be made less nutritious for plants and grasses. This creates an even quicker erosion cycle, as grasses die off from lack of minerals and the top layer of soil becomes even looser and more prone to erosion.

Plants can provide a valuable service when it comes to erosion. Their roots can help hold dirt into place and absorb runoff from rain or watering rather than allowing this water to carry dirt down the hillside. Certain types of plants can also add back nutrients to the soil, making it healthier and easier in which to grow additional plants.  

Which erosion control plants are best for sunny hillsides?

For hillsides that receive steady midday sun, sun-loving ground covers like sedum or autumn sage can be a great option. Both plants remain low to the ground, even when full-grown, so they shouldn't impact your view or make your hillside look shaggy or unkempt. Whatever type of ground cover you seek, you'll want to make sure it is designed for full sun, as planting a partial sun or shade plant on a sunny hillside is likely to result in a wilted, yellowed stub in just a few short weeks. 

What types of plants are best if your hillside is mostly shaded? 

For shady hillsides, ground covers like ivy and moss are ideal. Ivy vines can thrive in partial sun or full shade, and their dark leaves provide full cover to the ground below. Moss is highly absorbent and dense, and can prevent excess water from reaching your topsoil while significantly improving the nutritional quality of the soil beneath it. 

To learn more, contact a company like Shore Sox

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10 June 2016

Discussing Landscaping Practices

Hello, my name is Willy Wilson. When I was in college, I rented a small home with my friends and coworkers. The home was in bad shape and needed a lot of help across the entire property. My friends and I decided to build up the home from the inside out with a unique landscaping layout. The landscaping process ignited a passion for creating gardens out of tired, patchy lawn space. I want to use this site to explore all of the different ways you can create a beautiful landscape around your home. Come by anytime to learn about this fascinating subject.