Erosion control is a vital part of both residential and commercial construction and gardening projects. Ensuring your plant life has proper time to grow and preventing topsoil runoff extends the life of your property and increases your water filtration abilities. Traditional straw wattles are an economical option when you’re trying to control erosion on your property. Coir wattles or erosion mats take the convenience of straw wattles and add eco-friendly properties, like biodegradable materials, to the mix.
What Is a Straw Wattle?
Straw wattles, also known as straw worms or straw tubes, are fiber-filled rolls designed to slow or stop water flowing in areas with ditches or significant slopes. While traditionally filled with straw, the coir industry has begun to design coir erosion mats and logs that provide the same benefits as standard straw wattles but have superior water retention and biodegradability.
Why Should You Use a Straw Wattle?
Whether you choose a traditional straw wattle or seek out coir options, straw wattles are vital in land preservation efforts. Because they trap sediment, retain water, and provide a safe barrier for seed germination, straw wattles create spaces for natural plant life to grow. When trying to prevent further erosion of a location, whether it’s a ditch beside a road or a sloping hill in your backyard, encouraging the growth of local plant life is essential.
Coir mats and rolls can be highly beneficial, as they resist fungus and bacteria while providing superior water retention. They’re also biodegradable, meaning you won’t have to manually remove them; in two to five years, your coir straw wattles will break down naturally and add nutrients to your topsoil.
How Do You Install a Straw Wattle?
Proper installation of your straw wattle or mat is a key part of your erosion control project. If your wattle is improperly installed, you may find water pooling or your straw wattle shifting. This lessens or even eliminates the effectiveness of the straw wattle, as your local vegetation no longer has a stable spot to begin growing.
To install your wattle, you’ll first need to mark the locations you want the wattle to go. This generally means running a narrow channel perpendicular to your slope that curves down slightly at the ends to make sure water doesn’t pool in the middle. Digging out a small trench will help keep your straw wattle stable. You may need to use several rows to ensure proper erosion control; in this case, your straw wattles should be parallel to each other.
Straw wattles, when installed properly and used smartly, are a great way to conserve water and prevent erosion damage to your yard, your construction project, and more. And while traditional straw wattles are certainly adequate, we highly recommend exploring the range of coir products that are more eco-friendly than traditional plastic-wrapped wattles. Coir wattles are fully biodegradable, and coir also comes in erosion-control mats that can aid with water retention and plant growth over a broader area.