How to Protect Your Garden From Storm Erosion

Erosion is when soil or sand is displaced and carried from one location to another. This can happen over time as a result of wind or water movement, but it’s much more likely to happen during a large storm.

With hurricane season right around the corner, now is the time to take the steps necessary to protect your garden and yard from the effects of storm erosion. If you don’t, you could lose valuable soil while suffering serious damage to your plants and landscaping. Erosion can also block storm drains, clog public water systems, and flood streets, so doing your part to prevent it is a great way to help care for your local community and the environment.

 

Tips for Preventing Soil Erosion

Fortunately, preventing or at least minimizing storm erosion isn’t that hard to do. All it takes is a little planning and know-how, and your garden, yard, and landscaping will be safe from even the worst storm.
 
1. Assess where the erosion is the worst.
Every property is different, so it’s possible that you could have one area of your yard or garden that’s affected by erosion and another that is not. By identifying where the problem is the worst, you can focus on the areas that need the most help. To get an idea of where erosion is occurring, look for trails of soil that are being swept away from your garden beds by wind or water.
 
2. Cover the soil with mulch.
Once you know where the erosion is occurring, you can begin to combat it. Typically, the best way to do this is by covering your soil with a fresh layer of organic mulch, like the 100% recycled mulch we sell in bulk at American Property Experts. You can also use other plant material, like straw or grass clippings to prevent erosion. Not only will this protect your garden from the effects of wind and rain, but it can also help keep your plants insulated and increase moisture retention, as well as give your yard a clean, landscaped look.
 
3. Plant a cover crop.
If you have an open plot of land that’s being eroded, consider using living plants to help retain the soil. Native species of grasses and shrubs can help with soil stability since their extensive root systems act as a binder that keeps your topsoil and subsoils tied together. If you enjoy growing your own food, barley, rye, and oats are crops that are both useful and excellent at protecting the soil. Or, you can always use things like wildflowers to protect your soil and provide a source of food for pollinators like bees.
 
4. Block the water.
If your yard is sloped, chances are that mulch and plants won’t be quite enough to fix your erosion problem. Sloped yards are particularly susceptible to water runoff, and often the only way to prevent it is with edging, terracing, or a retaining wall. If your slopes aren’t too steep, rocks or pavers can be used to edge a garden or flower bed and keep water out. Larger slopes may require you to build a retaining wall that’s several feet high, or implement terracing, to prevent water from washing away your yard. Fortunately, like most landscaping, retaining walls and edging can easily be done on a budget.
 
5. Collect rainwater.
Rainwater collection is legal in North Carolina, as long as you stick to a few rules regarding filtration. You must also only capture rainwater that comes off your roof or another type of catchment surface. Another way to divert the flow of water is by using a French drain. This is merely a piece of perforated pipe or tubing surrounded by gravel, that lies underground and allows water to easily filter in and be carried away. You can use French drains to point excess water directly toward a storm drain, or you can use them to divert water to areas of your garden that might actually need it.
 


If all else fails and a hurricane is fast approaching, you can always protect your garden by building a quick wall out of sandbags. It’s not the ideal solution, but it will work in a pinch and hopefully cut down on the amount of yard work you’ll have to do after a hurricane passes.

If you’re ready to stock up on mulch or need to replace some soil that you’ve lost to erosion, our topsoil and mulch calculator can help you figure out just how much you need. You can also contact us online or stop into either of our two Wilmington locations at 606 Sunnyvale Drive or 2831 N. Kerr Avenue for help with all of your soil, mulch, vegetative debris, and tub grinding needs!

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