What is the best way to stem soil erosion?

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My house/yard is on a river lot. The back of the house faces the river. Usable yard space is very small (no room for trees or large bushes) and slopes a little bit toward the river. The rest of the lot slopes steeply down to the river bank and has been used by others as dump before I purchased the house and land. I will tackle the steeper portion of the property when money allows, but right now I want to prevent further soil erosion in the yard surrounding the house. Is grass my only solution? I'll be grateful for suggestions.

  7 answers
  • Gk Gk on May 11, 2018
    Can you build a retaining wall from rocks. It is a lot of work and a lot of rocks but for the most part it's free. I live in a farming area so I have been able to get rocks from farmers who remove them from their fields and pile them. They are usually happy to let me take as many as I need.
  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on May 11, 2018
    Depending on where you live, take a look around at other riverbank properties. What do they use? There may be other plants that you can get (even for free) like cattails, mangrove, elephant ears or papyrus that will grow at or in the water to keep the soil in place. Or, while your gathering your materials you could get some of that builder's fence they sell at home stores and pound in the stakes at the waterline. The fence is tarp material and about 20 inches high. It will not keep the water level from rising and falling, but it will keep the dirt from sliding down the slope. I think it comes in fifty or 100 foot lengths and is fairly inexpensive.
    • Anne Hayes Anne Hayes on May 12, 2018
      Thank you for taking your time to give such a thoughtful answer. I will follow up on the the builder's fence suggestion. Thanks.
  • Sarah Barganier Sarah Barganier on May 11, 2018
    You can stack sacks of cement/concrete (paper sacks) in the water at the edge of your property. The water will make them harden and create a wall to stop the river erosion.
  • Anne Hayes Anne Hayes on May 12, 2018
    Thank you for your suggestion.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 12, 2018
    All of the above are good solutions to your problem. A question for you is what are your eventual plans for the river portion of your property, just for viewing, fishing, swimming, boating...and so on?
    Could how you handle the erosion problem weigh in on the later portion where the dumping was?
  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on May 12, 2018
    Boulders work too. Weed barrier underneath before you start.
  • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on May 12, 2018
    These are all epic ideas. But if you want something a bit more green (literally) I suggest iceplant. They are sturdy as the roots go deep and are like one single organism. You can get a variety of colors depending on what you want. This link will help you choose the hardiness, colors, how to plant from clippings, etc. Hope this helps.
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