En Español

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

Plants for erosion control in Georgia
May 17, 2010 - Hello, I have a question regarding water run-off coming from the neighbors yard as my yard is below their yard. What kind of ground cover would grow very quickly (low to ground) to help with the r...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stabilize a steep bank in South Carolina
January 09, 2010 - I would like to use native plantings to stabilize a steep bank. The bank is on the side of the gravel road I cut back into the woods and around a 36" pipe going under the road to allow the free flow ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in California
November 13, 2010 - Where do I find out about the specific root structure of various California native plants? Are there shrubs that have tap roots & hence are good for steep slopes? The genus of any such plants that y...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for creekside erosion control
December 16, 2006 - I need advice on what native plants I can use to slow erosion by my creek. The watershed for a large area ends up at my place, and nothing is growing where most of the runoff flows. I've got braken...
view the full question and answer

Erosion blanket question from Antimony UT
August 03, 2011 - I want to use an erosion control blanket for a hill and want to know what type I should purchase that would allow planting seeds and them growing up through the blanket
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center