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

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


Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Hairy grama
Bouteloua hirsuta

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Seep muhly
Muhlenbergia reverchonii

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

More Erosion Control Questions

Erosion control in Santaquin UT
August 11, 2009 - I have a hill in my backyard; it is about 40 ft tall and about 80 ft wide. It is probably a 1.5 to 1 slope ratio. I am going to be landscaping my back yard and have top soil put on the hill as well. S...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
June 29, 2012 - I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in IL
April 21, 2011 - Steep 40ft slope in rural Illinois with Sandy soil. Recently several trees slid down this slope due to wet conditions. We need any inexpensive plants to hold the hillside in check before erosion creep...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for Shady Ditches
January 24, 2013 - What plants can you recommend for erosion control along shady ditches in Northwest Indiana?
view the full question and answer

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