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Mr. Smarty Plants - Erosion control on 30-ft. berms in Manor, TX

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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

 

 

 

 

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