Dry Creek Beds–A Decorative Way to Combat Erosion

One of the biggest issues some homeowners can face is erosion of their lawn or landscape. Over time, water flowing from uphill sources such as irrigation, rain water, or neighbor’s drain pipes can start to wear away the soil in its path. This eroding of these areas can start to cause maintenance issues, safety hazards, and become unappealing to look at. There are a few ways to help minimize this problem. The best solution is to try to redirect the water further uphill so it is not a problem in your yard. However, most of the time this location is on other neighbor’s properties that you have no control over. So, you have to figure out how to solve this problem in your own yard. One of the most decorative solutions are dry creek beds.

Modern aesthetic dry creek bed running along stone wall.

Dry creek beds are drainage channels that are made to mimic a natural creek and work with the problem area. Simply put, a dry creek is a swale or cut in the ground that is covered with some type of gravel to help slow the flow of the water and reduce the erosion that has occurred. The design of them can be as simple as a swale with decorative gravel. Or, they can become a feature of your landscape. By adding boulders, trees, shrubs, and planting beds in and along the dry creek they can be a very decorative solution to an aggravating problem. Dry creeks can have a very rustic and natural look. However, they can also be designed to work with a modern style of landscape and house by adjusting the selection in materials.

Natural/Rustic dry creek bed with flagstone path.

When considering installing a dry creek, there a couple of important factors to take into account to make sure that it is the best solution to the erosion problem. First is to make sure there is enough room to create the swale needed to handle the amount of water that is flowing through. Second is ensuring there is an outlet or a way for water to exit the creek at the end of your property. You want the water to be able to leave the property and continue flowing away.

Dry creeks are a great solution an erosion problem. When done correctly, they can solve a problem and become a functional and aesthetically pleasing feature in your landscape. Contact a designer today to learn more.



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Rost, Inc. began in 1985 with a vision of creating stunning and unique landscapes for central Missouri. Founders Tim and Toby Rost began landscaping while attending the University of Missouri.