En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Grasses for Erosion control in Iowa
September 27, 2012 - We have a sloping yard in the midwest that gets 2-4 hours of sun during the warm weather. When we have large rainfalls, the water just pours down the slope causing a lot of erosion to the surrounding ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control near creek in Kansas City, MO
July 26, 2008 - I'm looking for something to plant to help stop erosion on my property. The spot I have in mind is on a slight natural grade heading toward the creek at the back of my property. Any ideas on what t...
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

Native plants for eroding hillside in Kansas
May 08, 2009 - We have a creek running thru our property and the hill running down to it is about 30 feet tall, in some places almost straight down, some sloping. Some is in shade, some full sun. We would like som...
view the full question and answer

Low growing annuals for OK shaded slope.
January 26, 2016 - I have a heavily shaded slope on the north, west, and south side of my home. Can you suggest some low growing annuals (flowering, or not) that would allow me to beautify my property.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center