Use Compost to Reduce Topsoil Loss on Sloped Land

Erosion Control Blanket Vivaria Ecologics

The Highlights:

  • Coarse compost is applied to sloped soil to prevent runoff

  • Reduces erosion

  • Enhances vegetation growth

Compost can be used to reduce erosion and to prevent runoff on a sloped plot of land. By using a coarse compost and applying it to the surface of the soil, the compost not only helps to protect the land, but helps to sustain long-term growth for plants and to create a sound structure for the sloped land. Overall, the added compost can help to reduce erosion by up to 67- 99% and stormwater runoff by 60-97%. The addition of compost to the soil also allows for both water and nutrients to be saved. 

To construct an erosion control blanket, the coarse compost would be spread over a graded surface until the entire area is covered. If the area is susceptible to substantially more precipitation or will remain vacant of vegetation growth, a greater amount of compost will be required. The seeds meant for vegetation can be placed into the soil before, after, or while the compost is being applied as long as the seeds are ultimately covered to protect from animal or sun damage. 

Soil should achieve 100% coverage at around 3 feet above the top of the sloped land. Where possible, land should be compacted using the appropriate equipment (an example of this could be a tracking bulldozer), allowing indentations to capture water.

Some of the information in this article came from the Compost Research & Education Foundation's Compost Use Applications - A Return on Investment (ROI) factsheets. The full set of factsheets can be found here.