Revegetation is the process of restoring native vegetation after land use disturbance. Revegetation is an effective form of erosion control and an effective means to restore soil after it has been disturbed.
Thanks to new and improved tools at our disposal, the revegetation process of your SWPPP can be quick and permanent, whether applied to residential or commercial projects.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of revegetation, considerations before restoring vegetation to an area, and the best revegetation solutions to streamline this task.
What Are the Benefits of Revegetation?
In many instances, revegetation is required by law after construction activity has ceased. However, there are several reasons why revegetation may be necessary, whether you’re selling a home or preserving a local ecosystem.
1. Reduced Soil Erosion
Soil erosion is a massive source of pollution and can be an eye soar in any landscape.
Natural plants and trees are by far the best defense against soil erosion for several reasons:
- They provide cover for the topsoil
- They increase soil infiltration
- They slow the speed that stormwater runoff travels
- They increase the rate of evapotranspiration (the rate at which water evaporates from the soil)
In turn, natural vegetation is your number one defense against soil erosion, which can eventually lead to sedimentation and pollution. But not only does natural vegetation protect the areas it covers, but also the areas around it by slowing and absorbing water as it travels over its surface.
2. Saves Money
Preserving plants early saves you money on replanting them later.
Beyond this, preserving vegetation saves you money from restoring areas of a work zone or home that are significantly eroded and require greater care. And preserving natural vegetation saves you money from having to invest in artificial sediment controls, such as silt fences or turbidity barriers.
3. Reduced Water Loss
Soil erosion reduces infiltration, which allows soil to absorb water. In turn, it becomes harder to reseed areas, making areas around it more liable to erosion.
4. Improved Landscaping
Long stretches of dirt and mud can be an eye soar and decrease the value of a property. Revegetation allows you to maintain greenery around your property, improving its curbside appeal and its underlying value when you go to sell a property.
5. Fertile Soil
Farmers and gardeners will appreciate that greater plant diversity from reseeding improves soil fertility over time, making plants easier to grow and more nutritious.
6. Greater Wildlife Diversity
The more diverse the plants, the more wildlife becomes diverse. This offers several benefits, from spreading necessary pollen fertilizing plants to improving the soil.
7. Fewer Weeds
Reseeding damaged soil also helps prevent weeds, which attract pests and tend to ruin garden beds and displace natural ecosystems.
8. Cooler Climates
Plants and trees increase carbon sequestration, which traps carbon from the atmosphere and cools regional climates.
Revegetating an area requires careful analysis and planning. First, we recommend documenting an area before any land disturbance has occurred so you know what plants naturally grow and what features you need to restore. Then, you will need to undergo a series of steps, including soil analysis, surface preparation, and more, to decide how you will reseed a disturbed area.
A proper soil analysis will tell you what you are able to grow and what fertilizers you will need to use to revegetate an area. For example, acidic soil will require lime and other fertilizers to balance its PH and grow native plants again. Conduct tests early as it can take weeks to alter the PH content of the soil.
Soil intervention will be necessary to prepare the ground for reseeding or mulching if it has been disturbed. For example, land clearing, including clearing debris, rocks, and weeds, will be required to revegetate soils with new or existing plants.
Likewise, ground clearing and grading may also be necessary, especially if the soil is exposed to persistent stormwater runoff.
Next, you must decide what plant species you will use to revegetate your soil. Be strategic, as this can impact the ecosystem of the area you are planting. For example, timber trees can serve as shelters for livestock, while evergreens can shield buildings from cold winds during the winter, helping to conserve energy.
Land Use and Goals
Finally, you’ll need to tie these considerations into your land use goals. If you are building a new commercial building, revegetating soil with pretty ferns and flowers can increase curb appeal. Trees can cast shade and help conserve energy during the summer and winter for any residential or commercial plot.
The key is to plant and sow seeds that will serve a purpose, whether it’s reducing stormwater runoff or attracting certain species, such as honeybees, to an area.
Top Revegetation Solutions
There are a number of advanced technological revegetation solutions at our disposal to help reseed and restore disturbed land.
Hydroseeding is the fastest-acting solution to restore green grass to any pasture or land. Using a slurry of fertilizer, grass seed, and biostimulants, hydro seeds grow up to ten times faster than grass seeds protected by straw or mulch and are far easier to spread.
A specialty machine helps spread the slurry, evenly coating surfaces and reducing the time it takes to lay down new seeds.
Gardeners use mulch to protect bare soil, kill weeds, retain moisture, and help plants thrive. Operators can apply this to large plots of disturbed land to prevent soil erosion, protect seeds as they grow, increase water infiltration, and keep out harmful weeds.
There are several forms of mulch companies use, from rocks and artificial blankets to biodegradable materials like grass clippings and leaves.
Fertilizers are natural or synthetic additives that contain helpful nutrients that allow plants to grow. Most revegetation projects will require fertilizers to provide the soil with essential nutrients to support plant growth and to balance soil PH levels.
4. Grass Sodding and Mesh
Sodding is a fast and inventive way to restore disturbed grass using large rolls of grass and soil mixed together that can be laid out across lawns or pastures like a blanket. Sodding is the fastest way to restore grass and is highly effective. Most sod is held together by a strong root system or a biodegradable film which is perfectly safe for restoring disturbed soil.
Grass mesh is another great product that can be laid down to help reseed soil and protect it. However, grass mesh is typically used to protect underlying grass as it grows instead of establishing new grass, especially if it lies in a heavily trafficked area.
5. Erosion Control Blankets
Finally, synthetic erosion control matting or blankets can help protect native soil from erosion and new grass seed until it grows far enough to establish a root system. Erosion control blankets are highly effective at slowing the flow of stormwater runoff while simultaneously hydrating soil underneath to support plant growth.
Restoring disturbed land and soil is a critical part of any construction or landscaping project. Let the experts at Valor Environmental help you with your next restoration project. We offer top revegetation solutions, including biodegradable mulches, hydroseeding, and erosion control blankets, as well as the expertise and experience needed to help restore any commercial or residential land space.