Erosion can be a real concern in your garden beds, particularly if they are on a slope or in an area where runoff from buildings wreaks havoc on your plants. Fortunately, there are several different ways to deal with erosion in landscape plantings. The following can help you determine the best options for your home.
Option #1: Divert water
If water and runoff is the main cause of your erosion problems, then a diversion may be all that is necessary. The first step is to determine where the water is coming from. If it is flowing off roofs, then installing a gutter system or rerouting the runoff from an existing system may be all that is needed. If guttering isn't an option, install trench drains along the side of the garden where the runoff originates to handle the excessive water. Another option is to install an erosion barrier. These are generally made of stone or wood (or vinyl designed to look like stone or wood). You install them in the path of the runoff at an angle so you can divert the water to a less damaging area.
Option #2: Use a ground cover
Ground cover is an excellent option when moderate runoff is the issue, or in beds where erosion is more likely to occur because of wind blowing off the top soil. Generally, you want plants with clumping roots and growth patterns as well as deep roots. Ornamental grasses, many native wildflowers, sedums, and vinca all work well to create a full and colorful garden bed that also protects against erosion. You can also use heavy mulches, like stone or gravel. Heavy mulch is best utilized in beds with perennial plants since stone mulch is difficult to remove and replant in.
Option #3: Install terracing
Terracing takes more time and usually costs more than the other two options, but it can provide an attractive and permanent solution for garden beds that suffer from water erosion and are located on a slope or hill side. Stone or wood is used to create a stair-step of level terraces. Each terrace is filled with soil and planted with the flowers, shrubs, or even vegetables of your choice. It's best to grow grass at the base of a terraced slope, since all water will eventually drain here. The matted roots of turf grass can handle the trickle of runoff without being washed away.
For more help, talk to a company like Bark Blowers & Hydroseeding Inc in your area.