Explore Plants

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
    
 

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)

 


 

More Erosion Control Questions

Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
June 27, 2012 - My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Sunny Slope in CT
May 11, 2013 - I need a plant to use as groundcover and for erosion control on a sunny slope in southwestern Connecticut. Any suggestions other than juniper?
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 erosion control in IL
April 21, 2011 - Steep 40ft slope in rural Illinois with Sandy soil. Recently several trees slid down this slope due to wet conditions. We need any inexpensive plants to hold the hillside in check before erosion creep...
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.