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

Friday - August 26, 2011

From: Abilene,, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Soils, Watering, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Erosion at edge of driveway in Abilene TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My lawn suffered a great loss of grass over the winter and the soil at the edge of the driveway is washing away with watering and the occasional rains that we have. I am trying to get the grass to grow there but in the meantime I would like some tips on how to prevent the erosion. Is there something other than the landscape edgings that I could use? Thank you.

ANSWER:

You have rains in Abilene? Wow! In Austin, we just have heat wave, but we can see where watering could be causing loss of soil.

There are erosion blankets available at nurseries, but they would probably be overkill for your space, since they are designed for hillsides, large areas. If the point where the erosion is occurring has curb and driveway, we think a flexible landscape edging, which can be held in place by curb and driveway, would be the best choice. We would suggest that you first build up the area with some compost, as you no doubt have lost a lot of good soil, not to mention grass seed if that is the way you are going. The edging will help keep that new dirt in place where you are going to want to replant.

There is no point in planting anything now until it cools off some. In the meantime, please read our How-To Articles on Native Lawns: Buffalo Grass  and Native Lawns: Multi-Species. When the appropriate time comes for replacing the grass in the affected area, it would be good if you can obtain sod, as this can be put down on the composted area, and have a better chance of staying in place. Grasses are excellent for preventing erosion, as they have long, fibrous roots, but you have to give those roots dirt, so they can get started right.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Few blooms on native Bignonia capriolata (cross-vine)
March 25, 2008 - I have an 8-year-old crossvine that has grown and bloomed beautifully until this year. During the winter it lost all of its lower leaves. What leaves were left had brownish-red splotches on them. It h...
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
April 24, 2012 - What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
view the full question and answer

Watering needs for a new landscape
October 11, 2008 - How much and how frequently are you supposed to water after implementing a new landscape? For example, perennials and succulents that are drought tolerant.
view the full question and answer

Best fertilizer for live oak trees in Central Texas
April 22, 2010 - What is the best fertilizer for live oak trees in Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

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