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

Ground cover for heavy dog traffic in Huntsville TX
July 23, 2010 - We have recently moved to Huntsville, TX where our backyard is very shady and has only a small patch of St. Augustine grass and the rest is a dry, sand-like soil. We also have 2 Great Danes and 2 Pugs...
view the full question and answer

Shelf life of hawthorn leaves in Florissant, MO
April 30, 2009 - I have a bag of hawthorn leaves that were harvested in 2007. Do you know if they're still effective? How long is the shelf life of hawthorn leaves? Thank you for your assistance.
view the full question and answer

Distance apart to plant Arizona ash trees in El Paso, TX
July 01, 2010 - How far apart can I plant two Arizona ash trees?
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree transplant in Elgin, TX
August 26, 2008 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about how to encourage a very young pecan sapling to grow, and whether I should use mulch to do so. I live in Elgin (Bastrop County) and the soil is extr...
view the full question and answer

Will recycled tire mulch harm butterfly larvae?
December 05, 2012 - I discovered orange butterfly larva in the hardwood mulch under my Turk's Cap. Will it harm the larva if I switch over to recycled tire mulch?
view the full question and answer

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