Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Plants to stop creek bank erosion in North Carolina
June 26, 2009 - Hi: I live in NC where most of the dirt is clay based. I have a small creek behind my house that is eroding. The creek overflows when there is a heavy rain and as a result, gradual erosion. My g...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for steep slope in West Virginia
October 05, 2008 - I live in Zone 6 (Eastern Panhandle of WV). I have a rocky, claylike steep slope (30-40% grade, about 50 feet wide and 20 feet long, it sits in the afternoon sun). So I need to plant erosion-control p...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for erosion control in the state of Washington
December 16, 2010 - Which native grasses do you suggest for maximum erosion control in my area?
view the full question and answer

Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
June 04, 2008 - I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and...
view the full question and answer

Plants for bridge foundation erosion control in WV .
July 05, 2010 - There is a stream on my property that I must cross to get to my house from the road (stream is about 6 - 8 feet wide, with 5 to 6 foot banks). I've recently had to have the bridge repaired, and the ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.