Natural Erosion Control | Coir

Many people are looking for a natural way to control and prevent further eroding of slopes or banks. One of the simplest and most natural ways to implement an erosion control process is by establishing plant growth in your location. As plant roots begin to extend and grow underneath the surface, a system of roots will take form. This system will actively work to stabilize the soil, providing long-term erosion control.
However, many people find that plant growth on unstable soil can be difficult. To help stabilize your area and provide a solid platform for implementing growth, using a geotextile can be a great option. The most natural geotextile available is coir.

What is Coir?

coir matCoir is a natural material frequently used to create erosion control products such as erosion control mats, logs, wattles, and blankets. Most coir is created from the husks of coconuts during coconut harvesting. After being harvested, husks are placed/soaked in water for extended periods of time to increase their flexibility. Once they have been fully soaked, fibers are then separated out to form different coir fibers.
These fibers are then used to create various types of erosion control products. Longer fibers, such as bristle coir twine, offer increased strength that allows them to be used in high strength applications. Bristle coir is often used to form erosion control mats or blankets, as well as netting that forms the exterior of an erosion control coir log.
Shorter fibers, such as mattress coir, are then used as filling material. You will often find this type of coir inside an erosion control log, block, or wattle.
When used for stabilization or reinforcement during the vegetation process, the most common form of coir used is that Coir Erosion Control Mat/Blanket. This mat is placed flat along slopes, hillsides, or banks to reinforce the area and provide a stable location for plants.

Choosing an Erosion Control Mat

erosion control on slopeWith hundreds of coir mats to choose from, many wonder how to find the right mat for their location. Choosing a mat can depend on a lot of different factors, but most commonly depends on the steepness of your area, the lifespan you require, and/or the amount of water flow in your location.
For example, if your location is very steep (slope of 1:1) or has a significant water flow (as much as 16 fps), you will want to look into stronger coir matting. This will typically include mats with smaller weave openings and increased weight strength.
If you are looking for something short term and your location does not have a demanding or slope or water flow, lighter strength coir mats and even straw blankets can work.
Regardless of which coir/natural erosion control option you choose, these materials are designed to biodegrade over time forming a further enriched soil for plant stabilization.