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

Saturday - August 18, 2012

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need suggestions for native grasses to stabilize hillside Kerrville, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a steep slope at the back of our property in "caleche" territory in Kerrville. It is about 80 feet wide by 40 feet and ends at a wash. It is outside of our fenced yard and we are in city limits and have a nosey neighbor who reported us when our grass was too high. The city told me that if we sow Texas wildflowers and call it a wildflower habitat, they will ignore his protests. I've obtained wildflower seed and sowed it there and it doesn't look too bad but we are still experiencing erosion when it rains. Are their Texas native grasses, that don't get too high, that we could loosely sow there that would assist with stopping the erosion?

ANSWER:


Mr. Smarty Plants would like to know how high is too high?
We’ll go to our Native Plant Database to see if we can find some grasses to fit the bill. Using the Combination Search box, select Texas under State, grass/grass-like under Habit, and perennial under Duration. Check sun under Light requirement and dry under Soil moisture. Click on the Submit Combination Search button, and you will get a  list of 57 native grasses for Texas landscapes. Clicking  on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images. As you check out each plant, you can note its size and  and other features.
Below is a short list of some of the shorter native grasses that might work for your situation.

You could also contact the folks at the Kerr County office of Texas Agrilife Extension  for additional help.

Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (Hairy grama)

Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)

Muhlenbergia reverchonii (Seep muhly)   may be too tall

Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass)

 

From the Image Gallery


Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

More Erosion Control Questions

Preventing erosion on a sloping lot
April 16, 2011 - I am trying to find a native plant to use on a sloped area in my back yard to help prevent the slope from eroding away (zone 7- N. Atlanta, GA). I want something evergreen, between 6 to 30 inches tal...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a slope in MD
August 04, 2011 - Looking for a groundcover to hold a shady slope undercut with tree roots in Maryland and to prevent further erosion.
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

Further explanation of retaining walls and trees from Washington MO
March 11, 2013 - I had a question previously about putting retaining walls across the root system of a 40' tall bald cypress tree(not like spokes on a wheel, but concentric to tree trunk). How wide can the walls be? ...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
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.