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

Monday - October 11, 2010

From: Lake Worth, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Need erosion control in Granite Falls, NC
Answered by: Marilyn KIrcus

QUESTION:

In Granite Falls, NC we have a sloping area at the end of the driveway that needs plants that will keep the ground from eroding. What do you suggest?

ANSWER:

We have already answered a question about erosion in North Carolina.  Here is the link to it. And here is another erosion solution that suggests building a series of rain gardens. (And remember, if you make a rain garden, you are making several microclimates for moisture. You'll be able to grow plants that like a lot of moisture where your rain garden is the deepest and plants that like drier conditions higher up.) There are over 100 answers to questions  about erosion and, since Mr. Smarty Plants is a group of people, by reading the answers for the state of North Carolina and some of the states close to it, you will get lots of ideas.

I don't know if you have sun or shade or part shade or if your soil is clay, loam, or sand. But you can select for grasses that match some of your requirements by following the directions below. Then you'll have to read the article about each plant to see if it will grow in your kind of soil.  Grasses are really good for erosion control because they have such deep and massive roots.  More of their total mass is below ground than above ground. For a small spot, which I think you have, you can either buy seed and start it in a deep flat - I use dishpans from the dollar store with holes melted into them or drilled into them- or wait until spring and then buy 4 inch pots and set the grasses out by the spacing they need to grow or a little closer, to fill in quicker. If you choose to use a mix of grasses, plant groups of maybe 5, 7, 9, or 11 plants in a group so you will get a lovely billowy effect.  You can also add some sages or other large wildflowers for a little accent here and there, again making sure you have a space of at least 2-3 feet wide and deep of one plant.

Just make sure that the plants you choose match your soil and light at the site. To do this quickly, you can do the following:

  1. Go to our webpage and click on our Plant Database.
  2. Scroll down until you see the map of the US and click on it.
  3. Click on your state to get the recommended plant list for your state
  4. Scroll down and look at the right column to narrow your search.  Choose grasses that will grow in your kind of soil moisture and your kind of light.
  5. You can repeat this search for other kinds of plants or just read about each plant by clicking on the link to it.

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Raised beds over lateral lines in Solgohachia AR
January 02, 2010 - I would like to build raised flower beds over my lateral lines. They would be planted with strawberries and perennials. Will this cause any problems with the absorption into the ground or not lettin...
view the full question and answer

Plants Needed for a Shaded, Rocky Slope in Alabama
July 06, 2016 - I live in Alabama where the soil is clay and rocky. I've tried planting on a rocky slope I have but, it's also shaded. Not even Juniper will survive on this slope. I've spent thousands of dollars tryi...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in Virginia
October 24, 2008 - Please help! Looking for landscaping ideas for a very large Steep hill. Features: slope is approximately 45-60 degrees, clay soil mixed with fill dirt, lots of deer, partial sun, seeking minimal maint...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
April 08, 2009 - I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
view the full question and answer

Construction problems on site in Mansfield OH
April 28, 2012 - Last year we had a rectangular above ground pool put in the person who "leveled" for use did a terrible job and basically dug a huge hole for us to put our pool in. The back side of the pool is abou...
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