When you own a larger piece of land, typically anything 15 acres or larger, then you will have a lot more to take into consideration when it comes to maintaining your property and preventing soil erosion. Having a large property means that you have more options. You can consider a soakwell.
You can build a larger home, you can build additional structures, you can construct large gardens, or even farms for fielding. But, with all of these options comes an equal level of responsibility. You have to be up to the task of keeping up your property. The best way to do this is to be proactive.
You don’t want to wait for problems to arise before dealing with them. You want to anticipate them and take preventive measures to keep them from becoming an issue for you. Fortunately, many of the potential problems you might encounter can be anticipated. The main threat is easy to spot as well, that threat is water.
Water Is Both Important and A Threat
Have you ever wondered why liquid water is the number one thing that scientists look for when examining solar planets for their potential for having life on them? It’s because life as we know it can’t exist without water.
Whether you want to have a simple landscape or are planning to plant crops on your property, you’ll need water. But you’ll also need to be able to control that water.
Water that is allowed to flow without proper control on your property can cause major problems. It’s always better to prevent major problems than it is to try to correct them once they’ve happened.
Water Can Cause Soil Erosion
What is soil erosion? Soil erosion occurs when water washes away soil from a property, stripping it of essential minerals. This makes it difficult to support any type of plant life. Soil erosion isn’t just a threat to plants on your property, it can also destabilize structures! What causes soil erosion? Water, more specifically water from storms.
When it rains and rainwater hits bare soil, it displaces it. This is a problem, but it’s not the main problem. The main problem with soil erosion occurs when heavy rains cause large volumes of water to flow over your property. When this happens there is the potential for large amounts of soil to be washed away.
Uncontrolled Water Can Damage the Foundation of Buildings
While soil erosion is a concern, that’s not even the biggest threat that water poses to your property. The biggest threat comes in the form of potential damage to the foundation of your home. If water pools on the ground, it will end up either evaporating or being absorbed.
Some water absorbed into the soil on your property is a good thing – or even better through a soakwell as described here. Water is necessary for vegetation, so moderate amounts of rainfall are usually good for your property. But, when there is a significant amount of rainfall, enough that water pools on the ground, then that is where you run into problems.
If you notice water pooling up around the edges of a building, some of it will end up seeping into the ground. If enough water seeps into the ground it can destabilize the soil around your foundation, which can cause problems.
An even bigger concern though has to do with the cracks in your foundation. All foundations have cracks, small cracks are normal since concrete tends to crack. Large cracks are a problem.
Small cracks can become large cracks if water seeps into them during the winter and then freezes. As water transforms into ice it expands. If this happens in a crack in your home’s foundation, you have a problem.
Proper Landscaping Can Prevent These Problems
When you own a large homestead it’s important to hire a professional to ensure that the landscaping will remain in good condition year-round. This starts with proper excavation for any new construction. If you are building anything with a foundation, make sure to have the area excavated first. Then have the soil compacted before you have the foundation poured.
You’ll also want to have the landscape constructed in a way that channels water where you want it to go. Using inclines allows gravity to pull water away from buildings and keep it flowing to where you want it. Using dams can help to retain water that you can later use for irrigation during times when there is not a lot of rainfall.
Retaining walls is another powerful tool in your arsenal that should be taken advantage of to help combat soil erosion. They act as a physical barrier to block water and soil flow during storms. This makes them invaluable assets on your property. Retaining walls can be very basic, or they can be decorative and used as an important part of the landscape.
Large Properties Need to Utilize Heavy Equipment
On a property that is 15 acres or larger, there is a lot more upkeep to deal with than with a traditional homestead. Even the most stalwart do-it-yourself type is going to struggle in most cases when dealing with this much work.
It’s simply not feasible to plan to tackle this much work on your own unless you have access to heavy equipment, and the training necessary to safely operate that equipment. Attempting to take on this much work on your own without heavy equipment will leave you exhausted and frustrated. Attempting to operate heavy equipment if you aren’t properly trained is dangerous.
This is why hiring a professional is your best option. Think of it this way, you will likely only need to hire a professional on special occasions. This includes during new construction or when dealing with damage.
Other than that, if your landscape was properly planned and executed, it should be able to stand up to most normal weather conditions without serious problems. While there will be outliers, such as major storms, for the most part you won’t need to hire a professional for your day-to-day needs. So, be proactive. Hire a professional to survey your homestead and give you their opinion on any problem areas, and take action before those potential problems become real problems.