Reduce Soil Erosion

Reduce soil erosion. Keep it planted and mulched.

Soil erosion is a concern not only for its impacts on plant growth, but also for its impacts to water quality.  Soil is a valuable natural resource that nourishes and supports plant growth among many other things. When soil is left bare and exposed, wind and water can erode it. 

Sediments that are transported to storm drains and surface waters can choke aquatic life and increase water temperatures. Various pollutants such as bacteria, nutrients and heavy metals may also be attached to these sediments, further degrading water quality.

You can reduce soil erosion by: 

  • Maintaining a healthy, perennial plant cover.
  • Mulching.
  • Planting a cover crop – such as winter rye in vegetable gardens. Includes annual grasses, small grains, legumes and other types of vegetation planted to provide a temporary vegetative cover. Cover crops are often tilled under serving also as a “green manure” crop.
  • Placing crushed stone, wood chips, and other similar materials in heavily used areas where vegetation is hard to establish and maintain.
  • Using other  erosion controls that include the use of geo-textile materials or other methods such as sodding or hydroseeding that result in the establishment of permanent cover.  These methods work well on steep slopes and heavy traffic areas. Contact your local landscape contractor or the RI Nursery and Landscape Association.
  • Addressing problem areas of that get lots of stormwater runoff.   Solutions to these problem areas include redirecting stormwater and roof runoff to areas that can settle and dissipate water, such as a rain garden.

Download a Printable Factsheet:

Reduce soil erosion.  Keep it planted and mulched.

For more information and ideas on what you can do around your home to reduce soil erosion:

Is your yard a sponge? 

Shoreland Buffers and Water Quality Protection

Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2024 University of Rhode Island.