There have been countless ideas on how to prevent topsoil erosion. Knowing how to stop topsoil erosion could be some very useful information, especially if you have a garden on a slope. For anyone who has such a garden, or anyone who has ever tried to stop topsoil erosion on a slope, this information could be useful.
Plastic does nothing to prevent topsoil erosion. Plastic is great for bottles, bags, and toys, but it does not belong in your garden. What always ends up happening when you try to stop topsoil erosion with plastic is that you wake up one beautiful morning to see plastic sticking up in your garden like a big ugly weed. The real sad thing is that it could be a really nice morning aside from the plastic in the flowers, but seeing plastic like that is sure to ruin the view every time. I actually warned a relative of mine against using plastic to stop topsoil erosion, and he laughed at me. I tried not to laugh back when I saw what the outcome was. The earth was almost completely bald except for a few blades of annual grass sticking up here and there. The funny thing about it was that in the areas where there was no plastic, the ground looked significantly healthier. This was yet another example of plastic harming a garden instead of helping.
Concrete is another thing used to stop topsoil erosion that simply does not work. Well, actually it does work for a short time which is why some people think it does work; but the reality is that sooner or later, the topsoil will erode anyway, and the concrete will tumble down with it. I never really understood using concrete because it certainly seems like an eye-sore when place in a beautiful garden.
I have no idea who came up with the idea that grass will stop topsoil erosion, but it is not true. Planting grass on a slope will do nothing to prevent topsoil erosion; in fact, it will only cause greater topsoil erosion than if there would be no grass at all. It has actually been proven that slopes with grass on them have a greater rate of topsoil erosion than do slopes without any grass. In fact, every study that I have ever seen on the matter recommends against using grass on a slope to stop topsoil erosion. It would even be fair to call this grass a weed. This is because a weed, by definition, is an unwanted plant. This unwanted grass will spread and make it extremely difficult to plant anything there in the future. Do not plant grass seed or place sod on a slope. You will only be asking for trouble.
Now here is one that actually could work if done correctly. There are certain kinds of mulch that will help prevent topsoil erosion on a slope. You should research each type of mulch that you want to use to prevent topsoil erosion before you actually attempt to put any down. If you put down the wrong kind of mulch, you could be promoting weed growth, preventing other plants from growing, and you could even be increasing the topsoil erosion that is taking place on your slope.
Some people try to stop topsoil erosion by planting grasses such as Red fescue. This will not prevent topsoil erosion. To the contrary, it will make the topsoil erosion problem much worse. This is because these grasses have extremely shallow roots, so they are really nothing more than just added weight to the topsoil. This will only make it easier for rain to cause topsoil erosion because, with these evil grasses there, the entire layer of topsoil will slide down at once. It will be like seeing a slow-moving, really wet and mushy carpet sliding down a hill. These grasses are also foreigners with regards to the plant community and are not a natural member of this plant community.
Jute is the last one that I will talk about. It can work as a short-term solution just until your plants are established. Jute is not magical, and if it is not used properly, it will not help much. If you combine the jute with mulch, you will have a substance that will hold better to a steeper slope than either one of them could hold on its own. The best way to do this is to put down about an inch of mulch and then roll the jute over it and pin it down. Then put down about another inch of mulch over the jute. After it is all set up, you need to do a full planting on it in order for this to prevent topsoil erosion. Take the plant out of its gallon container, and set it aside. Cut a hole in the jute, and fill the pot with the dirt from the hole that you dig in which you plan to put the plant. Then pull the mulch and jute aside and put your plant in the hole. After that, put the mulch and jute back into place, and get rid of the extra dirt. This will help prevent topsoil erosion at least short-term, which is clearly better than nothing.
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