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Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants to stop erosion on hills in Kansas

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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

 


 

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