Q: Our backyard slope is slowly washing away with every rainfall. What’s the best way to stop the erosion?
A: One common method to prevent erosion is to use large stones as riprap, which essentially holds the soil in place and sheds water more efficiently than bare soil. If you have somewhere to divert the water, such as a pond, stream or sandy area of the yard, then you can lay a dry creek bed on the slope to handle the water in a more decorative fashion. A dry creek bed is a trough formed of rocks that directs the water flow. To handle heavy water flow, stake landscaping fabric over the slope and mortar the rocks in place. Use a variety of differently sized rocks for a natural appearance.
For very steep slopes, or homes with nowhere to handle heavy water flow, a dry creek bed may not be an option. To combat erosion on steep slopes, consider using large, terraced boulders, interlocking stone retaining walls or carefully secured landscaping timbers to ease the slope and disperse the drainage.