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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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Friday - September 18, 2009

From: woodbine, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Need plants to cover hillside and control erosion in Woodbine, Kentucky
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in eastern Kentucky. I have a hillside that is full of weeds how do I get rid of the weeds and what can I plant to cover it. This hillside is not walkable. Is there some kind of vine ? There is also erosion.

ANSWER:

Hillsides and erosion usually call for native grasses because their fibrous root systems can hold onto the soil particles. Vines generally don't do this so well. When we say grasses, we don't mean the kind of grasses that you mow in your yard, but bunch grasses that are ornamental and can stabilize the soil.

Weeds vary with the beholder; one person's weed may be another's wild flower. What you really need to do is to have someone, for example a landscape architect, take a look at your hillside and make recommendations for plantings and erosion control.

Another source of help could be the folks at the Whitley County Office of the UkAg Extension Service.

This is a list of grass/grass-like plants whose distribution includes Kentucky.

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Elymus hystrix var. hystrix (eastern bottlebrush grass)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)


Carex pensylvanica

Schizachyrium scoparium

Elymus canadensis

Panicum virgatum

Chasmanthium latifolium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

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