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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)

 

 

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