How to Use Erosion Control Fabric

Lead Image
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Shovel or trowel
Erosion control fabric
Fertilizer and/or compost
Galvanized steel anchor pins

Erosion control fabric differs from landscape fabric because it is much coarser and composed of different organic materials. The most popular organic fibers for erosion control matting are coconut fiber, jute and coir, which is coconut mixed with straw. Erosion control fabric is used where soil erosion needs controlling, particularly due to heavy water runoff. It is spread over the seeded ground and in trenches at the lowest point of the field.

Erosion control fabric can help ensure more successful gardening on terraces, shallow slopes and steep hillsides. It is also proven to control wind erosion on fields and gardens whether tilted or level. Gardens and crop fields in coastal areas, subject to both high winds and high rainfall, benefit greatly from the use of erosion control fabrics and mats. Follow these guidelines when installing erosion control fabric.

Step 1 - Prepare the Ground Surface

Dig all large stones and roots out of the soil in the field. Then level the slope down to the desired gradient. Add mulch, compost and/or fertilizer before planting seeds and laying the fabric.

Step 2 - Sow the Ground Cover Seeds

Effective ground covers include wild flowers and grass of various types. Sow the seeds under coconut fiber and coir erosion control mats. Alternatively, you can plant them either under or over a jute erosion control fabric mat. Seed the field with abundant quantities of the ground cover.

errosion preventing fabric roll on rocky ground

Step 3 - Trench the Slope Peak and Insert the Roll of Erosion Control Mat

To stabilize the erosion control mat, place it in a trench at the top of the slope. Make the trench 6 inches deep and 6 inches in width across the entire high level of the field. Line the trench with fabric, pulling the spool out beyond the lower edge of the trench. Pull up 12 inches of the erosion fabric above the trench, up the slope, and confine the fabric with anchoring pins no more than 12 inches apart through the fabric to the base of the trench.

Fill this trench with soil, compressing it solidly to hold the roll in place. Seed the top of the trench and fold the 12-inch section of mat over it. Affix the fabric to the ground with staple-shaped anchor pins.

Step 4 - Place Erosion Control Fabric Over the Balance of the Field

Pull the roll of erosion control fabric down to the bottom of the field, and attach the next roll of fabric with a minimum 3-inch overlap, for both horizontal and vertical roll additions. Continue until the entire field is covered in erosion control fabric. Secure with the longest galvanized metal anchor pins available, to reduce stress and stretching.

Anchor Pins - Choose Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel anchor pins are highly recommended for use with erosion control fabric. These pins will hold firmly even in the wettest conditions. Stresses from weight and gravity on erosion control fabric can cause PVC pins to warp and twist, releasing their hold on the fabric, resulting in slippage and poor performance.