Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Tuesday - April 24, 2012

From: Hendersonville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Rain Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Retention pond from Hendersonville NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a retention pond that has recently been cleaned and we would like to plant perennial native plant and grass seeds that will enhance the appearance and contribute to the natural process of filtration, hold the soil when water is rushing by and permit pollutants in the water to be filtered out. What time of the year should the seed be planted and able to stand generally wet feet?

ANSWER:

From the EPA, here is an article on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which is about retention ponds.

With that in mind, we have two very similar questions in our queue; one is yours from North Carolina and another is from Michigan. We suggest you read the Michigan answers for some background information:

Grand Haven MI

White Lake MI

Mason MI

We found a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question originating from Virginia which we think might have some information of use to you. There are some more links to further information in that, and instructions on using our Native Plant Database. Since we don't know if you want all grasses, how moist your soils are, how much sunlight they will get, etc, we think it would be better if you made your own plant list. Native grasses are certainly the best choice as their long fibrous roots will definitely help to hold the soil. As for the time the seeds should be planted (or plants if you are putting in some shrubs) is dependant on the part of the country. In Texas, we recommend planting grass seeds in mid-April, and hoping for gentle consistent rains, which we seldom get. If you go down the webpage on each plant you are investigating to the bottom you will see a list of Additional Resources. Click on "Search Google for ______ (plant name). Sometimes the webpage will have specific Propagation Instructions on it.

 

 

 

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

Bioswale for Indianapolis
September 13, 2009 - The city of Indianapolis has a very historic Central Canal, which was built in the 1830s. Due to erosion, the parent company of Indianapolis Water, Veolia, has proposed covering the banks with a type ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for high moisture area in Aspen CO
March 23, 2011 - We live near Aspen, CO at about 7,000 ft elevation. We have a seasonal creek running through our yard with large amounts of fertilization from farms in the water and a very high water table with tons ...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden for Washington MO
March 08, 2013 - I have a 40' tall bald cypress at the bottom right corner of my sloped yard (slopes from 2 sides, has 3 gutter runoffs directed towards it from 50-70' away). Can I put a series of retaining walls up...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants for DC
March 23, 2011 - Please recommend deep-rooted, native, perennial plants, 1-3 feet high, for an area that is moist and gets approximately 3 hours of day of afternoon sun. During rain storms this garden is in a low area...
view the full question and answer

Installation of a bioswale in Decatur IL
July 22, 2009 - I want to install a bioswale in a 15' wide, 50' long ditch on a relatively steep hill. The ditch already has rip rap in it. Do I need to remove all the rip rap before starting construction, or can...
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.