Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Revegetating a hillside in western Washington state
October 10, 2012 - Removing several downed trees across my dock demolished the native plants growing on the hillside and the contractor pulled out their remains. The area faces east on an open freshwater bay. Close to...
view the full question and answer

North Dakota Riverbank Stabilization
July 17, 2012 - Can you suggest plants to prevent and stabilize river bank erosion on Sheyenne River, ND? Must be tolerant to cold, varying level of salts and sulfates and water level (from drought to flooding)
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a steep slope in KY
March 31, 2011 - We are building a new home and have a very steep hill behind the home. Our highlift operator just cleared it off - I would say about 15 to 20 feet in height and at least 150 feet in length. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Road Frontage in NC
March 12, 2015 - I need a fast growing ground cover or perennial flower for 1,000 feet of road frontage about one acre that will choke out weeds. I do not want to do much ground prep or any ground prep. I do not want...
view the full question and answer

Environmentally friendly native erosion control plants for arid hillside in Austin
July 15, 2006 - Hi, I'm moving into Agave, the new east side development in Austin. It's currently an arid hill with almost no trees and a steep (by gardening standards) hill. As a community, we'd love to...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.