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Erosion & Soil Health

Mountain and River



Erosion is the process of soil, rock and other particles displacing from a location by wind and/or water (like Stormwater runoff)...   

Job site erosion control is especially important because excess dirt, construction materials, chemicals, and other pollutants will be carried into runoff if proper steps aren't taken.

Erosion Prevention Techniques

1. Plant grass and shrubs. ...

2. Add mulch or rocks. ...

3. Use mulch matting to hold vegetation on slopes. ...

4. Put down fiber logs. ...

5. Build retaining walls. ...

6. Improve drainage. ...

7. Reduce watering if possible. ...

8. Avoid soil compaction.

Rock Hills and Water
Test Tube

Soil Erosion Experiment

This might look like such a simple experiment but it will definitely show the importance of having vegetation covering the soil to prevent erosion!

What you’ll need:

· 6 empty coke bottles

· 1 x piece of plywood

· Wood glue

· Scissors and Stanley knife

· String

· Soil from the garden and compost

· 4 Seedlings

· Mulch (bark chips, dead leaves and sticks)


Step 1

Prepare three of the coke bottles by cutting a rectangular hole roughly 7cm x 25cm along the side of the bottle.

(You can use a permanent marker to mark out the piece you want to cut out.)


Step 2

Stick the bottles to the wood with the wood glue making sure that the necks of the three bottles protrude a little over the edge of the board.

Fill the first bottle with plain garden soil and the other two with a soil and compost mixture. Press down firmly to compact it.

Step 3

Leave the first bottle as is.

Cover the top of the soil in the second bottle with your mulch (bark chips, dead leaves and sticks etc).

Plant your seedlings in the third bottle. Make sure you plant them tightly together and press down firmly to compact the soil.


Step 4 

Cut the other three bottles in half, horizontally and keep the bottom halves.

Make two small holes opposite each other, nearest the cut side of the bottle.

Cut three pieces of string, roughly 25cm long and insert each end into the holes. Tie a knot on the ends to secure them.

This will form a “bucket” to collect the water.

Hang them over the necks of each of the three bottles on the board.

Step 5

Slowly pour equal amounts of water into each of the bottles. Pour the water in at the end furthest from the neck of the bottle.

Take note of the color of the water collecting in the cups! The water in the first cut is really dirty, the water from the second and third cups are much cleaner which shows that both mulches, as well as the root structure of plants, assist in preventing soil erosion.

Do this every day for a week or two and they will soon see how the soil erodes away in the first container while the plants hold the soil in the last one. It’s nature's glue, so let’s look after our plants and while we’re about it … plant some more.

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