Erosion Control

wanter harvestingErosion can be a significant challenge for the health of a property and its downstream waterways. Erosion is often connected to surface and subsurface water. Permaculture Artisans has years of experience with erosion control solutions in a variety of settings. Water-harvesting strategies are a foundation for reducing the movement of sediment across a site or through a waterway. In addition to a water-harvesting plan, depending on the challenge at hand, Permaculture Artisans will design a unique erosion control system that may include one or more of the following:

Biological stabilization

biological stabilizationBiological stabilization refers to the strategic use of specific trees, plants, and seeds with mulching systems and that hold the soil in place. Beneficial bacteria and/ or fungal inoculations are also used to ensure a healthy growing environment. This plant community provides a buffer for the soil when water comes into contact with the land, reducing erosion and the uptake of sediment by the moving water, which improves the quality of that water as it moves off the property.

Rock retaining walls

rock wallWhere water is concentrated and/ or moving quickly, rock retaining walls offer a more suitable option. Potential applications include road cuts, landslides, terraces, excavated sites, and steep eroding banks. Rock retaining walls also serve the dual function of moderating microclimates where they are placed, increasing heat absorption and frost protection.

Logs and brush on contour

damsOnsite or locally-harvested brush or logs can be used as an effective erosion control strategy if placed on contour lines, packed in gullies or used as check dams in drainage systems. Brush piles also serve the functions of providing habitat for wildlife and as carbon sponges that absorb water and slowly release nutrients into the landscape.



A gabion is a structure placed in a waterway or drainage channel to slow water down while allowing it to flow through. As water slows, sediment drops out behind the gabion keeping it from moving downstream. These are usually made from rock placed in a wire cage but brush versions with stakes can be used as well.

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