En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - December 20, 2009

From: Lawrence, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants to stop erosion on hills in Kansas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to plant some type of forage to stop the erosion on my hills & eliminate some of the mud in my turnout areas. It needs to be something that either horses won't eat or that can survive heavy grazing. Also, non-toxic to horses. What do you recommend?

ANSWER:

Grasses are excellent plants to use for erosion control because their extensive fibrous root systems hold the soil in place.  You can use the four main prairie grass species:  Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem). Other grasses that would do well and provide forage for your horses would be Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass), Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), and Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama).  These grasses are all native to your area and palatable for the horses.

Here are some other Kansas Recommended perennials that are not harmful to horses.

Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower)

Lespedeza capitata (roundhead lespedeza)

Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea (longbract wild indigo)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea)

Desmodium canadense (showy ticktrefoil)


Andropogon gerardii

Panicum virgatum

Sorghastrum nutans

Schizachyrium scoparium

Tripsacum dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua curtipendula

Desmanthus illinoensis

Lespedeza capitata

Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Desmodium canadense

 


 

More Erosion Control Questions

Erosion preventing plants for West Virginia
July 16, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and I've got a hillside that's too steep to mow. I'd like to put in plants that other than weeding and regular tending, will...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep lakeside bank in Minnesota
January 17, 2012 - I am new to MN and would like to plant some pretty plants on my steep lakeside bank. What type plants and flowers should I plant to prevent erosion, but not block the lake view?
view the full question and answer

Can Carolina wild petunia be planted over septic tank in Nokomis FL
July 10, 2011 - Could you tell me the root depth of the Ruellia caroliniensis/ Carolina wild petunia? Trying to determine if I can plant it over septic tank.
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in Virginia
October 24, 2008 - Please help! Looking for landscaping ideas for a very large Steep hill. Features: slope is approximately 45-60 degrees, clay soil mixed with fill dirt, lots of deer, partial sun, seeking minimal maint...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for shady slope in Kentucky backyard
August 28, 2013 - I live in northern Kentucky (near Cincinnati). I have an area in my backyard that has slope. It is next to an ash tree and is very shady. Water erosion has washed away the top soil and pretty much no...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center