Erosion control can be accomplished in many ways.  When trying to establish a new lawn, there is always a chance of erosion.  Erosion control is needed more frequent in seeded lawns because the seed is not nearly as heavy as sod and tends to wash away.  Proper installation of both seed and sod will reduce the chances of erosion in your newly installed lawn.  The best way to minimize the need for erosion control is to make sure that your yard gets established as soon as possible.  Roots from the new lawn will hold dirt in place and provide the most natural form of erosion control.

Grading and Drainage

Erosion control in seeded lawns.

Seeded Lawns- The quicker that your seed establishes itself, the less chance of erosion that you have. Correctly installing your seed by working it into the soil will help reduce seed runoff.  When your seed is worked into the ground, the weight of the dirt will help hold the seed in place.  Installing an erosion mat such as straw or fiber will significantly increase the success of your seeded lawn.  These mats will slow down water flow over your yard, which minimizes seed loss.  The mats will also hold the dirt in place, which in turn keeps the seed in place.

Straw erosion mat works better than hydroseed installations because it contains straw woven into netting which acts like a blanket.  Straw matting is more expensive to install than hydroseeding, but the success rate of the application is higher.  In some applications, it might not be practical to install straw matting. During these projects, hydroseeding may be your only option.  Hydro seeding is far more effective than just working the seed in the soil because the product goes on wet and dries to the ground holding it in place.

Watering seeded lawns will decrease the erosion potential.  Adequate, but not overwhelming amounts of water will help your seed germinate quicker.  If your seed starts to root in faster, there is less opportunity for the seed to fail.

Erosion control in sodded lawns.

Sodded Lawns- Sodded lawns have a far less chance of erosion than seeded lawns.  The most significant opportunity for erosion is when sod is installed on hills where it tends to slide down the slope when wet.  To minimize the sliding of sod on hills, make sure to install sod stakes.  Sod stakes are similar to big staples that are about 4 inches long that hold the grass to the soil.  If your sod is not watered adequately, it may shrink and cause small valleys between the pieces of sod.  If this happens, these valleys may cause water to flow through them, increasing erosion on your lawn.  It is always better to water your grass right away and on a regular basis to avoid these issues.

Erosion control socks.

Erosion control socks are ideal for perimeter erosion control.  These socks can be used to reduce soil movement on hard surfaces.  The most common type of application for this material is on new construction where no ground cover is in place.  The socks act as a dam to help retain soil runoff.  Most Erosion control socks are composed of a mulch interior wrapped in a silk-like permeable sock.  These types of products can be easily installed by rolling out the sock and staking it every few feet.