Do Plants Help To Prevent Soil Erosion?

Do Plants Help To Prevent Soil Erosion?

The two primary agents that cause soil erosion are water and wind. Soil erosion is usually a natural process but it can be disastrous if it’s caused by humans. The amount of soil eroded caused by such factors usually depends on two things:

  • Speed of the causative agents: Directly proportional to that of soil erosion. The more the speed, the more the soil erosion.
  • Plants: Indirectly proportional to be honest. The more the plants, the less is the erosion. This is because plants help to protect the soil erosion by binding the soil together. In their absence, erosion becomes much easier and much faster.

So you see that there’s no doubt that plants help to prevent soil erosion. But how do they do that? We’ll see to that in this article.

Grasses

Certain ornamental plants such as blue fescue, mondo and yellow foxtail can be considered to be ideal for fighting soil erosion.

These plants do not require much maintenance and they grow at a moderate to fast speeds and can also thrive in the sun as well as in the shade (on basis of the climate). These plants has a strong and sprawling system of roots that are capable of binding the soil particles together thereby, preventing them from the hands of erosion in the best possible manner.

Blue fescue requires occasional watering. But if it’s planted in an area that experiences frequent rainfall or water runoff, you don’t have to worry about that sort of maintenance anymore.

Mondo is capable of surviving in almost any forms of soil. Yellow foxtail is categorized as a deer-resistant form of plant and it also spreads as it grows.

Shrubs and ground covers

Sturdy shrubs and ground covers are one of the great ways to deter soil erosion.

Shrubs like juniper, buttonbush and rosemary can do this job effectively. Both juniper and rosemary are evergreen and can be easily taken care of. They thrive well in the sun and don’t need a whole lot of water to flourish. Juniper also comes in many varieties. Hence, you are almost bound to find at least one to suit your environment.

Rosemary is edible and hence, can make an excellent addition to any garden. Buttonbush shrub is deciduous in nature and it absorbs a lot of water. Therefore, it can be an excellent choice in unnaturally high rain-prone areas.

Trees

Trees are possibly the best way to curb the soil erosion. Their extensive root system ensures the most effective binding of soil particles thereby, holding firmly on to them preventing erosion in the best possible way.

If you want to look for trees that flourish in the hilly regions, look for species that exhibit extensive root systems making them capable of penetrating several layers of earth and remain steady on a slope.

Some of the best examples are fir, pine, cascara and willow.

The willow (specially weeping willows) and the cascara thrive well in full sun. These trees also require a moderately moist to wet soil for effective growth. Thus, it can be said that these trees will grow well in milder climates having mild winters.

Firs, as well as pines need abundant sunlight and they will thrive well in dry soil. They can’t withstand sub-zero temperatures.

We’ll sign off for now. Hope you had a good read.

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993

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