You might not even notice it, but bit by bit, some of your property’s topsoil ends up in the waterways all around you, from streams to rivers to the Chesapeake Bay.
And as that topsoil quietly erodes away, it takes polluting pesticides and fertilizers along with it.
How to stop this erosion from polluting our water and stressing aquatic wildlife?
Erosion control. Shelley Russell, landscape designer at Level Green Landscaping, shares some natural erosion solutions for your commercial property.
How To Spot Erosion Problems
Does your property have erosion problems? They’re not always obvious.
Watch for these tell-tale signs:
- Rainwater gushing down your property’s paved areas into nearby storm drains. (It should be sinking slowly into the soil.)
- Tree roots suddenly exposed.
- Bare areas of soil in your lawn and along driveways and walkways.
- Gullies forming on sloped areas of your property.
- Windows and building walls splashed with soil.
Solution #1: Stabilize Those Slopes
Steep slope on your property? Slopes are prime candidates for erosion — water rushes right down them.
Plant it with a terraced system of native plants and groundcovers to break up the slope and slow down water and soil.
Russell loves using ground covers for natural erosion control.
“Especially on hillsides where growing turf isn’t possible, because it’s either too shady to grow grass or too steep to mow,” she says.
Try these Russell favorites:
- White wood aster
- Christmas fern
- Blackhaw viburnum
- Allegheny pachysandra
- Foam flower
- Wild ginger
Russell likes these options:
- Common milkweed
- Butterfly milkweed
- Black-eyed Susan
- Clustered mountain mint
- Green and gold
- Moss phlox
Solution #2: Hardscape With Drainage
Every commercial property has hardscape. When installing or replacing yours, think permeable materials instead of concrete, Russell suggests. Bricks, flagstones or stones set in sand work great for patios or walkways.
Gravel, crushed stone or permeable pavers are good bets for driveways.
If your property has high-traffic areas where it’s too tricky to grow turf or plants, Russell suggests using permeable materials like pea gravel, river rock, mulch or flagstones.
Solution #3: Slow That Water Down
You want any water on your property — from rain or irrigation — to move slowly over the ground so it has a chance to sink into the soil.
Try these tips:
- Place stones at the base of your buildings’ downspouts so splashing water doesn’t wash away the soil.
- Add grass swales—low sloping areas on your lawn — to move water from one area to another.
- Plant a rain garden of deep-rooted native plants and grasses in a low area of your property to encourage stormwater to soak slowly into the ground — not rush into the nearest storm drain.
The garden’s soil filters out pollutants before slowly releasing the cleaner water into the water table.
Solution #4: Cover Your Bare Soil
Bare soil erodes easily, so keep it covered.
New construction? Seed new areas right away, and cover the areas with straw or mulch until the grass grows in.
Use mulch in planting beds to deter erosion.
Prevent Soil Erosion With Level Green
At Level Green Landscaping, we do everything possible to keep pollutants from entering our precious waterways.
That includes helping our customers prevent soil erosion on their properties.
Let Russell design great erosion control solutions for you, from terraced slopes to rain gardens to permeable hardscapes.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968.
You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.