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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - March 03, 2009

From: Tarrytown, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Difficult slope in Tarrytown NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I hope you can help. Is there a way to plant some native shrubs and plants on a steep slope that is filled in some areas with rock without having to tier the slope? The section is approximately 50' wide and slopes up to 8-9' high. After the 8-9' slope, the property does level off to a 5'flat section across the 50' width. Does naturally into a slope makes sense? Please let me know what you think. Many thanks- Maribeth

ANSWER:

Much as we hate to admit it, there are some problems that native plants cannot fix. We are gardeners and not landscape architects, and we find it difficult to even visualize the area in question. You could probably plant some shrubs and grasses on this slope, but it sounds like you would need special equipment just to keep you and your plant from rolling down the hill in the process. Erosion is probably going to be a big concern, and native grasses would certainly help that. There again, just getting the grasses started would be difficult. Our suggestion is to get help from someone who can actually look at the area and knows how to deal with it. If you go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, and type in the name of your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box, you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape and environment consultants in your general area. There are contact numbers and websites.

 

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