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

Friday - February 06, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Erosion control on 30-ft. berms in Manor, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

The Austin Rifle Club has recently re stacked its over 30ft high backstops. We know their will be erosion to these earthen berms. We need some suggestions on what to plant. Our club is a training site and has state and national competitions it is used by the Boy Scouts and other youth groups, also Director of Civilian Marksmanship. Our Range is in a flood plain just east of Manor, Texas. I am sure we could mix up water and seeds somehow and spray the mixture with a 2 in fire hose to deliver it to the top of our berms. We are volunteers please tell us what might work.

ANSWER:

Without a doubt, your best bet is native grasses to both hold the soil on those berms, and make them more attractive. Grasses have long fibrous roots that basically grab the earth and hold on. Grasses can usually be planted either by plugs and sod or by seeding. It sounds like seeding is the way to go for you. We are going to go to Recommended Species, select Central Texas on the map, NARROW YOUR SEARCH and select "Grasses and grass-like plants" under habit. When you are ready to make a selection, we suggest you go to Native American Seed of Junction, TX. They have an online catalog, do mail order, and can offer advice on the best ways to go about a project. From the Home Page, click on "Shop for Seeds" and you can look at either "Native Grasses" or "Grass mixes" to help you make a decision on what would work best for you. For your purposes, we particularly liked the "Western Rangeland Grass Mix."  For our list of individual grasses, we tried to choose varying heights and shapes, and especially drought-resistant grasses. Follow the plant links to the individual page on each grass to get the height, propagation instructions, etc.

GRASSES FOR CENTRAL TEXAS

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri (curly-mesquite)

Melica nitens (threeflower melicgrass)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua hirsuta

Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri

Melica nitens

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Panicum virgatum

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Erosion at edge of driveway in Abilene TX
August 26, 2011 - My lawn suffered a great loss of grass over the winter and the soil at the edge of the driveway is washing away with watering and the occasional rains that we have. I am trying to get the grass to gr...
view the full question and answer

Plants for difficult site in Jacksonville, TX
July 07, 2010 - East Texas (Cherokee County) red clay hillside, hard-packed, difficult to get to, 40' of it slopes 4' down in about 6'! Another 30' of it is flat. Between the hillside and the flat clay area is a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in shade in Iowa
July 02, 2010 - I work for a small non-profit shelter here in Dubuque, Ia. that has a very steep slope behind the building that needs some sort of plant or grass planted to stop erosion. The slope gets little to no s...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Solution for Lorton, VA
February 07, 2014 - We have a steep slope in our common area of our homeowners association. Trees that were planted have died. It is a large area around a pond. What should we plant that will hold the soil? The soil...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
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