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

Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
view the full question and answer

Raingarden Plants for Brownsville, TX
March 14, 2014 - I'm a Landscape Architect in South Texas and I'm implementing raingardens and vegetated swales in my projects. What native plants could be used in these gardens/water runways. They would need to res...
view the full question and answer

Liriope spicata for erosion and dust suppression from Bonifay FL
August 16, 2011 - I want to plant Liriope 'spicata'. I know it can be aggressive and that's what I want. We live on dirt road and need something by road for help in erosion and it's also hard to mow this are...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
July 01, 2009 - Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
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