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

Native Streambank Plants for SE Pennsylvania
July 18, 2013 - I help manage a nature preserve in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along the stream the banks have been beaten down by a large number of visitors for their educational activities such as stream studies. Th...
view the full question and answer

Economical, low maintenance plants for erosion control on a bank
May 29, 2006 - Please advise of all species suitable for preventing bank erosion, specifically those that will cover a southern exposure 400 foot long, 15 foot high bank in western North Carolina that grows rapidly ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control with perennials for a shady Dallas bank
July 25, 2013 - Thank you for your help with turf or perennials on a shaded bank, 4000 sq ft, for the Dallas area that has good roots, grows in semi shade to shade, is on a steep bank so cannot mow, and flowers the l...
view the full question and answer

Exposed Tree Roots in Austin
September 04, 2012 - I have a large ash tree with a lot of mud at the top of a sloping yard. I want to build a small retaining wall with the ground leveled above. This would entail covering exposed tree roots with 4-18 in...
view the full question and answer

Virginia creeper in trees
April 26, 2008 - Can Virginia creeper be allowed to climb on trees--specifically Texas ash and live oak--or will it damage them if allowed to attach itself? We are thinking of using it as erosion control in a greenbe...
view the full question and answer

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