En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 23, 2008

From: Orleans, VT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants to control hillside erosion in Vermont
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am trying to do an eagle project that involves putting vegetation onto a hill to prevent erosion. I live in Vermont. What kinds of plants would hold together a hillside and could be planted in abundance for cheap?

ANSWER:

Your best bet to meet both your criteria—controlling erosion and saving money—is native grass. Grasses, because of their extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil, are ideal plants to stabilize a steep area and prevent erosion. Here is a paper that may be helpful to you—The Use of Warm Season Grasses for Critical Area Stabilization by C. F. Miller and J. A. Dickerson from the Proceedings of the 2nd Eastern Native Grass Symposium, Baltimore, MD November 1999. It has recommendations for site preparation and planting procedures as well as the best grass species to use.

Here are the grasses of the core mix from the paper. These occur in Vermont or in adjacent states (e.g., New York).

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)

Dichanthelium clandestinum (deertongue)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

These are other grasses that occur in Vermont or in adjacent states that are mentioned in the above paper.

Panicum amarum (bitter panicgrass)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Festuca rubra (red fescue)

Festuca subverticillata (nodding fescue)


Andropogon gerardii

Sorghastrum nutans

Schizachyrium scoparium

Panicum virgatum

Bouteloua curtipendula

Elymus canadensis

 

.
 

More Erosion Control Questions

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
view the full question and answer

Native border plants to stop erosion
February 18, 2015 - I need native border plants to assist in stopping soil erosion due to water run off from rain and the Catawba River.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a bare clay slope in North Carolina
December 22, 2011 - Hi - I live near Raleigh North Carolina (border of the coastal plain and Piedmont). I have about 1/2 acre that was excavated for a geothermal heating/cooling system and now I need to stabilize it a...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control in Bartlesville OK
May 10, 2012 - What kind of plants can we use to stop erosion and loss of bank on a creek that is mostly shaded? Is there any free advice/plants for people that are losing land due to water levels rising/dropping?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Sunny Slope in CT
May 11, 2013 - I need a plant to use as groundcover and for erosion control on a sunny slope in southwestern Connecticut. Any suggestions other than juniper?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center