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Friday - July 10, 2009

From: Cataula, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Native plants for erosion control in Cataula GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have several steep embankments on my property that are slowly eroding. What kind of plants (other than grasses, the area is not lawn mower accessible) can I plant to keep this from happening? We have very hard red Georgia clay!


Ah, but didn't you know that the best erosion control IS grasses? And that there are a number of grasses native to Georgia that don't even want to be mowed? They are attractive, varied and will hold their place all year. And, more important, their long fibrous roots will hold the soil on your embankments. A very similar answer to yours was answered just a few days ago, and rather than repeat ourselves, please read this previous answer. Granted, you are in Georgia, and the previous question was from Nebraska, but we will search in our Native Plant Database for grasses native to Georgia and tolerant of clay. The previous question involved mostly seeding grasses, but you can also purchase plugs to be planted directly into the hillside. Go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, enter your town and state into the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape and environmental consultants in your general area. You should be able to find sources for what you need and help with doing it, if you so desire. Another source closer to home for information on erosion control in your area is the University of Georgia at Athens Extension Office for Harris County. They may already have bulletins or plant lists tailored to the problem you are having.

Grasses to Control Erosion in Georgia

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) - warm season perennial, 4 to 8 ft. tall, medium water use, sun or part shade, acidic or alkaline, loam or clay soil

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2 to 3ft., perennial, medium water use, sun or part shade, loam or clay

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (silver beardgrass) - deciduous, 3 to 6 ft., sun, clay soils that are well drained

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum) - 3 to 6 ft., medium water use, part shade, sandy, loam or clay

Poa arachnifera (Texas bluegrass) - 3 to 6 ft., medium water use, sun or part shade, sand, loam or clay

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) - 18 to 24 inches tall, low water use, sun or part shade, well-drained sand, loam or clay

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) - 3 to 8 ft. tall, sun, part shade or shade, sand, loam or clay

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4 ft., medium water use, part shade or shade, sand, loam or clay

Andropogon gerardii

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Paspalum floridanum

Poa arachnifera

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

Chasmanthium latifolium








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