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

Restoring a slope in the Mississippi sandhill region
August 01, 2011 - We are building on 5 acres (leaving 60% as is, natural). Only building a small (900-1200 sq ft house) & clearing 1 acre of the valley for a pond. There is a steep slope (where we had to put field dra...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for erosion control
September 23, 2008 - I live in southern california. What is the best groundcover to plant on a slope to prevent erosion?
view the full question and answer

Grass for erosion control
July 19, 2008 - I have a very shaded sloped back yard. I have not been able to get grass to grow due to the shade. There are approximately twenty 30-40 ft. Oaks in the yard. The yard slopes toward the house. I wo...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sandy slope at a weekend cabin in central WI.
June 30, 2009 - I have a cabin in central Wisconsin where the soil is equivalent to a sandy beach. There are some areas that are nearly impossible to mow because of how steep the incline is. Could you recommend som...
view the full question and answer

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

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