Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
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 a sandy slope at a weekend cabin in central WI.
June 30, 2009 - I have a cabin in central Wisconsin where the soil is equivalent to a sandy beach. There are some areas that are nearly impossible to mow because of how steep the incline is. Could you recommend som...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for steep slope in Southern California
June 05, 2013 - I need help for soil erosion control for a steep slope in sunny Southern California. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in NY
October 03, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm doing research into riverbank erosion in Broome County, NY, and I was wondering if you had some sort of resource that would be able to tell me which species of grasses...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.