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 - January 31, 2010

From: Pace, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Hurricane Ivan damage from Pace FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My yard on Escambia Bay in NW Florida was stripped of good plants and topsoil by a 4 foot tidal surge in Hurricane Ivan. I have made some plantings, but am just now getting the entire property cleared of storm debris. An old sailboat was pulled out from water's edge at my spring fed pond, leaving a huge eroded gulley. I need to get this filled in and then plant native plants. I can get what's called topsoil here, but it has lots of sand in it, and some brownish dirt. Should I add any fertilizer or mulch to it? Also I'm thinking of using bales of pine straw to hold the edges of the fill dirt from spilling into the pond. My grandson wants to have his outdoor wedding here next September, so need help to get growing!

ANSWER:

We are very sorry for the damage you sustained from Hurricane Ivan.In Texas what we are remembering is Hurricane Ike, on September 13, 2008. We gather from this Hurricane Ivan Wikipedia site that Ivan began on Sept. 3, 2004, and looped around and hit Escambia Bay on the backswing. Most of the information we were able to find concerned bridge, road and park damage, including the tidal surge you mentioned. Located in the western end of the Florida Panhandle, I guess you were not far enough north to escape severe damage.

And there is where our knowledge ends. We are specialists in providing information on plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.  We did get a lot of questions regarding tree damage after Hurricane Ike and, at the time, there were government agencies specifically set up to help with property damage and recovery. We were unable to find any such agencies working in Florida, although we are sure there were some. Whether they would still be able to give you some assistance 5-1/2 years after the hurricane, we don't know. What we do know is that this is way out of our field. You need specialists in soils, drainage, protection of your fresh-water pond and hopefully some sort of protection against further similar storms.

Our recommendation is that you seek professional help in determining what measures to need to take to restore your property. This could be landscape consultants, environmental experts, maybe even help from some university programs. Someone with experience and training will need to actually survey the site and help you make plans. A good starting point on where to find such professionals would be the University of Florida Extension Office for Santa Rosa County.

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants for pond, for incline and area with poor soil
April 23, 2012 - I have three plant recommendation questions for Austin, TX. 1. I have a large pond that I would like to put native aquatic plants in. What are some hardy aquatic natives I could put in? The pond ...
view the full question and answer

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

Plants for a bank too steep to mow
June 24, 2009 - Like the inquiry made in late June of 2008, mine involves a bank that is too steep to mow. However, ours is facing south. I am looking for a native grass, plant or groundcover. Any suggestions? ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania
July 12, 2011 - What do I do with a very steep bank with hard clay soil to stop erosion and to look nice. Is there a ground cover that would help?
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in VA
March 05, 2011 - Looking for a plant to prevent erosion on a riverbank on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Prefer something low, bank is a bit steep for regular mowing but could be mowed infrequently. Riverbank h...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center