En Español

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

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

From: Sand Creek, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion on sandy bank in Wisconsin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Sand Creek Wisconsin. As the name states SAND. I have a problem with rain eroding the sand hill sides. Looking for some type of plant or plants that will help with the erosion problem.

ANSWER:

We have been getting a lot of questions on erosion lately. Our answer is always pretty much the same; that is, that grasses have the best potential for holding the soil on a slope. The only thing we change is that we try to recommend grasses or grass-like plants that are appropriate to the area concerned, as well as to the soils, if we know what they are. So, in your case, we went to Recommended Species, selected Wisconsin from the map, narrowed our search to grasses or grass-like plants. Then, of that number, we went into the webpage on each plant and looked for the soil it would grow in, and selected the ones that tolerated (or even preferred) sandy soil. You can do the same and make different choices, based on shade or sun exposure, etc. Once the grasses are established, you might want to turn the area into something a little more attractive by adding wildflowers appropriate to your area. See our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening for suggestions. This is not a fast process, but can be very rewarding. To find both the seeds or plants to fill your meadow garden, go to our Suppliers section, type in your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants for your general area. Any reputable dealer will be able to advise you on the time of year to plant seed, whether to use seed or small plants to begin, and appropriate care for them until they are established. Most of the plant webpages have propagation information in them; i.e., seeds, cuttings, etc.

Here are our suggested grasses for erosion control in Wisconsin:

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bromus kalmii (arctic brome)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Koeleria macrantha (prairie Junegrass)

Pascopyrum smithii (western wheatgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)


Andropogon gerardii

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bromus kalmii

Elymus canadensis

Koeleria macrantha

Pascopyrum smithii

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Erosion control near creek in Kansas City, MO
July 26, 2008 - I'm looking for something to plant to help stop erosion on my property. The spot I have in mind is on a slight natural grade heading toward the creek at the back of my property. Any ideas on what t...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Ft. Wright KY
June 02, 2010 - My house sits on a hillside. On the back and behind a somewhat large concrete deck there is a retention wall that protects the deck, but after that there is this large area (at least 24X20 ft), that ...
view the full question and answer

Water seepage problems in basement in Philadelphia
April 09, 2009 - I am interested in stopping/limiting water seepage into my basement by placing water absorbing ground plants along one or both sides. The grass we planted when home was new in July 2007 has taken on o...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a lakeside slope from Bracey, VA
May 24, 2012 - We are trying to beautify and stabilize a relatively large lakeside steep slope with a southern exposure in central Virginia. The soil is characterized by red clay and shale rock. How can we turn this...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping recommendations for site in Dubuque, IA
March 27, 2010 - I need a seed recommendation. Here are the variables: Location: Dubuque, IA (east Central Iowa) Soil type: Sandy to sandy and gravelly. Part is a riverbank facing east. Steep bank then flat to ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center