|There are several good reasons to manage the drainage in your yard and one of the most important reasons is to control erosion. Water, not draining properly, can cause several problems, including but not limited to, killing existing plants, preventing the growth of newly planted shrubs and trees, the washing away of topsoil, and it can even cause damage to structures.
The main cause of erosion in the garden or yard is either steep slopes or shallow soil. Basically, the steeper the slope is, the more chance of erosion. One of the main ways to control the erosion on slopes is to alter the actual shape of your garden or yard. You can do this in different ways, such as building retaining walls or even constructing steps and developing levels to your slope. However, there are other methods to controlling erosion that will allow you to keep the general look and feel of your area.
To control erosion, it is best to add plants. While turf grasses will slow down the erosion, there are many other things that will do a much better job in holding the soil. The roots of herbaceous and woody plants seem to do the best job. When these plants mature, the roots not only hold the soil, but they also will absorb the water, which in turn, means there is less subsurface draining. The leaves of the plants will also act as a buffer between falling rain and the soil. Not only will adding plants help to prevent erosion, but it can also add a more natural look to your garden than a retaining wall.
Another alternative to a retaining wall is to use landscape fabric. It will provide a protective covering to keep the soil from being washed away. While black plastic sheeting was once used, there are now more modern fabrics that will allow the water to flow in and out of the soil and they will also act as a great weed controller. Placed properly, you can even cut slits in the fabric and carefully arrange some newly chosen plants.
Whichever you choose to go with, adding plants to the slope or using landscape fabric, the main thing is that you are helping to control erosion that can kill plants and even change the whole shape and look of your beautiful landscaped yard or garden.