Biodegradable Erosion Control Options

In many cases, erosion control is only a temporary necessity while waiting for the landscaping to heal after construction. If you have recently had a private road or long driveway installed on your property, then you may end up with some erosion issues on any slopes that now come down to meet this new paving. The key to successful erosion control, in this case, is to install some biodegradable barriers that will break down as the natural vegetation grows, which will provide a permanent slope stabilization solution.

Mats and Blankets

Mats and blankets can be laid over an entire slope to prevent slides or the complete loss of the topsoil in the area. Each mat or blanket consists of two layers of loosely woven jute cord. Straw or coir fibers are then placed between the jute layers. First, the area is reseeded as desired, and then the blankets are laid over the top and anchored. The plants can grow through the blanket as they germinate, and water and air can flow into the soil, but neither the topsoil nor the seeds it contains will blow away. Within a year, the blankets decompose and add nutrients to the soil and the newly established plants.


Wattles are very similar to blankets in construction except they are cylindrical and sausage-like in appearance. They are typically used where water needs to flow but where soil loss must be prevented. You will often find them placed around a storm drain at the base of a recovering slope to keep soil sediment out of the drain. Wattles can also be placed on slopes, perpendicular to the direction of the slope to slow water flow and thus slow erosion while stabilizing plants — much like mini retaining walls. It's common to find them secured just upslope of a newly planted tree or bush.


Mats and wattles both require staking to hold them in place until they have fully biodegraded, otherwise, these items won't be able to slow or stop erosion. Wooden stakes are sometimes used, although these may rot and fail, depending on soil conditions, before the mat or wattle. Metal stakes that are designed to rust away naturally and relatively quickly are another option. There are also stakes made from biodegradable plastics that are designed to break down naturally in the ground over the course of a year or so, which is about the same lifespan as a mat or wattle.

Contact an erosion control service like Holleman Hydroseeding & Erosion Control LLC for more assistance.

About Me

Creating Gorgeous Landscapes

After struggling for quite some time to make my yard prettier, I realized that I just didn't have the skills I needed to take care of things on my own. I began talking with various landscapers about the issue, and they were really fantastic to work with. They helped me with everything from planning the hardscaping to identifying various land grading issues that needed to be resolved, and it really felt like I was making progress. On my website, I decided to start talking with other people about how to create gorgeous, functional landscapes, since it can make a big difference for your property.



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