Plantings, wood-fiber mats, mulch and retaining walls are all methods of soil erosion prevention. Erosion control is vital for maintaining topsoil that provides plants with important nutrients.
Planting vegetation is among the more natural ways to control soil erosion. Wildflowers, small trees and shrubs are some of the best choices for erosion control. Plants provide a barrier against wind, and their roots help keep soil in place. Plants that provide ground cover by spreading out are a perfect choice to combat erosion.
Mats made of wood fiber provide stability to soil in small areas. Ornamental plants, vegetable crops and trees are able to grow through the matting, providing a double layer of protection to soil. Wood mulch is an erosion control method similar to matting. The mulch layer stabilizes the soil and maintains its pH while allowing vegetation to grow. Mulch prevents erosion by allowing water to filter through slowly so that the soil has more time to absorb the water. Because both of these options involve wood, they are natural and simply biodegrade over time.
Retaining walls work best in combination with other control methods. The low wall keeps water inside garden beds so that soil has a chance to absorb it.