When winter weather arrives, your topsoil will notice! No matter where you live, how mild your climate, or how landscaped your yard, your land is constantly being subjected to the forces of erosion. Before you buy another bag of garden soil, it’s time to get the dirt on what’s happening, what you can do about it—and how to grow more soil naturally!
What is erosion?
Do you know that the surface of the earth is always in motion? Yes, rain, snowmelt, wind and various natural elements result in movement of soil. Most of the time, you are not able to notice these changes because the soil removed by natural forces is quickly recovered by decomposing organic matter, mycorrhizal fungi, earthworms and other factors.
The problem becomes serious when the process of regeneration is slower than the erosion. In this case, the landscape gradually becomes altered, making gullies and canyons, hills and valleys.
Sometimes, people also trigger the procedure of erosion with their acts. Tilling the garden is something that always cause erosion because it breaks up the original structure of soil. On a breez day, tilling can cause quick removal of some precious soil. Some of the other acts that cause erosion includes overgrazing pastures and excessive irrigation.
Putting soil in its place
When your yard and garden erode, the topsoil is disappearing. It means you are losing something that contains the best food for your plants and you should try to preserve it. Soil erosion is something every gardener likes to minimize as much as possible. There are various procedures through you stop the soil erosion or at least, decrease it to its minimum.
The first step to keeping your soil where you want it is in preventing further harm:
– Plant a cover crop on bare soil to keep it from washing or blowing away
– Stabilize bare soil on hillsides with jute netting or burlap
– Practice good pasture management to prevent overgrazing (check out our video to learn how)
– Consider switching to no-till or low-till agriculture in your garden. You can find good information on how it works at this website.
– Review your irrigation systems for your yard and garden. Consider switching to drip irrigation, which is more gentle on the soil. Avoid over-watering or watering too quickly for the soil to absorb. Plant water-wise plants whenever possible.
– Before fertilizing this year, do a soil test! Proper fertilizing helps build stable, healthy soil. Over-fertilizing increases the chances of erosion by causing poor soil structure (not to mention the unnecessary expense).
– Practice permaculture. Not only can this save you water (and time!), the roots of the permanent crops in your landscaping and garden can help to stabilize the soil.
cover cropping is a great way to build topsoil and prevent erosion
Get more soil, naturally!
Now that your soil is here to stay, maximize your topsoil levels with a few easy steps.
– Plant a cover crop such as our Premium Soil Builder, which will add organic matter to your soil
– Encourage mycorrhizae, earthworms, and other beneficials in your soil. These organisms will convert organic matter into soil and add extra nutrients.
– Make your own compost (learn how here with our video) or get some top quality ready-made compost for your garden. Compost is full of beneficial microorganisms, nutrients, and organic matter which all help build more topsoil.
– Turn your yard and garden into a permaculture food forest (more about that here). By creating a healthy micro-ecosystem, you can help your land generate its own nutrients and build soil.
Read original article here: http://www.groworganic.com/organic-gardening/articles/protecting-your-topsoil-from-erosion