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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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Friday - September 18, 2009

From: Hattiesburg, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Need landscape suggestions for area exposed after last flood on Black Creek in Forrest County. MS
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We live on the Black Creek in Mississippi. After the last flood, we now have a steep sandy slope which is unmowable, and incredibly weedy. We want to remove the unsightly weeds- kill if necessary, and plant some kind of native ground cover or short shrubs of some kind. It's full sun from early AM to evening. We're at a loss, and no area nursery seems to have a clue. What would you suggest. I'm talking about a 4-5 ft. wide strip that is at least 200 yards along the creek. It's really fine sand, but the weeds are awful. We cannot get them with any machine. Thanks

ANSWER:

This raises several questions for Mr. Smarty Plants: What was growing on this site before the flood (do you want it back)? Is erosion an issue?  You are talking about 3,000 sq. ft. of area, and that can hold a lot of plants.

I am going to give you a list of bunch grasses that can help stabilize the area. Their fibrous root systems can hold onto the soil particles and reduce erosion. I think your best bet is to have somone, a landscape architect for example, look at the situation to determine what action you should take.; sort of a "boots on the ground" approach. Another suggestion is to contact the Forrest County Office of the Mississippi State University Extension Service for advice with this problem.

Native grasses that can be helpful;

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)


Schizachyrium scoparium

Panicum virgatum

Chasmanthium latifolium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

I


Andropogon gerardii
 

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