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

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

Need to Stabilize River Bank in Kentucky
December 20, 2011 - My home borders the Ohio River. I have lost a great deal of soil to the river. I am looking for plants with tight root systems that are water tolerant to protect my shoreline. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Water eroding corner in Austin
October 25, 2011 - I live close to the Wildflower Center. My yard slopes - as do my neighbors' yards to one corner in my yard. The result is constant moisture in one corner. The rest of the yard is caliche, rocks (m...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control in a Mid-Atlantic Shoreline
April 09, 2012 - My family owns a riverfront property off of Machodoc Creek which runs into the Potomac on the Virginia side. The water is roughly 3 feet deep at the shoreline and concrete cylinders are used to contro...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a steep bank in Virginia
June 23, 2009 - I have a small yard with a 3 foot steep bank that I want to plant on. I am looking for fast growing ground cover. There is some shade but not a lot and has a southern exposure. Ground is a bit roug...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center