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
2 ratings

Saturday - August 09, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion control for slope to detention pond
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have been required by code to build a detention pond for new church buildings in the Webster, TX (Clear Lake) area. There is a serious erosion of soil from water runoff from the building roof needing immediate attention to stabilize the slope, then plant native turf grasses. The distance between the building and the pond rim is about 14' maximum. Seeking advice on erosion control matting and choice of seed or sod grasses.

ANSWER:

Here is information about using erosion-control blankets and/or fiber or coir rolls to stabilize the erosion area. The fiber rolls and erosion-control fabric work by slowing the runoff water and allowing sediment to fall out rather than be washed away. Seeds are sown under the erosion-control material and grow up through the matting when they germinate. Underneath the matting the roots of the plants growing through the erosion-control material anchor the soil to stop the erosion. If you use erosion-control blankets made of biodegrable material, they will eventually disappear leaving the plants to control the problem.

Native grasses are an excellent choice for controlling erosion because they develop extensive fibrous root systems that hold the soil in place. Seeds can be sown under an erosion control blanket or grass plugs can be planted through the blanket. After the grasses have begun to establish themselves and stabilize the area you can add other plants. On the pond edge you could consider adding some attractive aquatic plants to help with the erosion.

Native American Seed in Junction, Texas has a turf grass mix that is 34% Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) and 66% Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss). This grass mixture requires little or no mowing (maximum height is 5 to 8 inches) and will not require extra watering once established. It does best in full sun but will tolerate some shade.

Another possibility for a native turf grass is Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill). It is a fine feathery grass that looks similar to bermuda grass. Please see the answer to a previous question discussing nimblewill.

Here are a few plants that would do well around the detention pond:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Hydrolea ovata (ovate false fiddleleaf)

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

 

From the Image Gallery


Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Nimblewill
Muhlenbergia schreberi

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Blue waterleaf
Hydrolea ovata

Scouringrush horsetail
Equisetum hyemale

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants to stabilize a bank in VT
April 10, 2012 - I am looking for suggestion on what plants might best be suited for aiding in the stabilization of a very steep bank above Lake Champlain.
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent bank erosion in Georgia
January 20, 2009 - I NEED LIST OF PLANTS TO HELP PREVENT BANK EROSION. WE LIVE AT BOTTOM OF HILL THAT FURTHER SLOPES TO A POND. THE AREA IS SHADY AND WET FACING NORTHEAST. ANY RAIN CAUSES THE POND TO MUD UP. WE HAVE...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to prevent erosion in Maryland
February 03, 2009 - Please can you recommend native plants for a north-facing slope, under pine trees? I live in Maryland near the border between the Coastal Plain and Piedmont Plateau, where we have cold to mild Winter...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Erosion Control on Lake Bank in Wahpetan,IA
September 20, 2010 - We have a steep 15 to 20 foot high bank on the glacial formed lake, West Okoboji. We are experiencing erosion and would like a solution to prevent further erosion. We have wild roses, sumac, wild qui...
view the full question and answer

Preventing erosion on a sloping lot
April 16, 2011 - I am trying to find a native plant to use on a sloped area in my back yard to help prevent the slope from eroding away (zone 7- N. Atlanta, GA). I want something evergreen, between 6 to 30 inches tal...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center