sexta-feira, 29 de março de 2013

Soil Erosion and Hydromulching

Soil erosion can be caused by a variety of things starting from natural elements and occurrences such as wind, water, gravity, storms, to human activities like soil cultivation and logging. If soil erosion gets into an intense level, it can largely contribute to the degradation and damage of our ecological environment and landscape. Hydromulching is one of the methods used to prevent or solve problems on soil erosion.

Hydromulching Background

Hydromulching or hydroseeding is the process of planting or seeding using a special sprayer spreading on ground a mixture of water, paper or wood mulch, seed, fertilizer, and sometimes a little colouring. It is a more developed option for using a drop spreader which spreads seeds directly below the machine (a rotary spreader or a hopper) which distributes seeds out in a curve. Compared to traditional seeding methods, hydromulching lets for an increased grade of precision and lets agriculturists to simplify seeding those spots that are hard to reach.

Soil Erosion Reduction

Soil erosion commonly happens on the hill sides and other sloping parts of land when gravity pulls the particles of soil down. Planting vegetation is a common way to control soil erosion as the roots help hold those soil particles in place. But sadly, planting in sloping sections of land is quite tough to do using traditional seeding devices. Hydromulching is one of the most effective methods used to solve this problem. With this process, one just stands at the foot of slopes and sprays seeds on the exact areas where vegetation is desired to grow. And because seeds are mixed with nutrients, water, and other things needed for germination, the seeds will begin to sprout and rapidly develop and spread their roots without the need for initial fertilizing or watering.


According to International Erosion Control Association's official paper, wood based mulches are more ideal and effective compared to paper based mulches especially when seeding on steep areas. One of the best choices is the bonded fiber matrix as this mulch is composed of long heat-treated wood fibers with tackifier, an element that holds the fibers together. The long fibers help in holding the seeds on the surface of the ground. On the other hand hammer-milled wood and paper-based mulches having short fibers can be washed away more easily and quickly after rainfall. Covering hydroseeded spots with external mulch can likewise help control erosion and keep seeds from being washed away. Synthetic agricultural straw and matting are some examples.

Soil Preparation

It is important that the soil is prepared before hydromulching is performed. A soil test is usually conducted to find out what materials have to be added to the soil to encourage healthy growth. The application of herbicide is also vital to kill any weeds and grass on the area, as well as clearing the area of any debris such as tree stumps, rocks and stones, and sticks. As much as possible, the soil must be free from any foreign objects. Tilling the soil to a depth of four to six inches is also necessary.

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