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 - September 29, 2012

From: winchester, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need plants for a slope in KY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a slope in my back yard that is mostly a slate shelf, grass and Weeds will grow but not well, very spotty. I am wanting a ground cover that blooms. Would like to not have to mow. This is a very unattractive area, really needs help.

ANSWER:

Since your yard is on a slope, are you concerned about erosion? Grasses with their fibrous root systems are great for controlling erosion, but the blooms of grasses aren’t very eye-catching. For that, you need wild flowers. For a combination of both, let me refer you to our link on Meadow Gardening.

For plant selection, lets go to our Native Plant Database and look for grasses first. Using the Combination Search box, select Kentucky 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 22 native species for Kentucky landscapes. Clicking  on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, its growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images. As you check out each plant, you can note its size and  and other features.

If you repeat the search and select herb instead of grass/grass-like under Habit, you will get a list of 98 herbs (wildflowers) for your consideration.

Select the plants that best match your growing conditions. Our National Suppliers Directory can help you find businesses in your area that sell native plants.

Another source of help may be the Clark County Office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
April 30, 2013 - Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
view the full question and answer

Full list of grasses for Connecticut from New York City
January 28, 2012 - Sorry, this is a followup to the native Connecticut grass query I sent half an hour ago. I see that it was asking for 'recommended species' that I ended up with such a short list of grasses (3). Th...
view the full question and answer

Looking for grasses for slope around retention pond in Florida
August 02, 2011 - I live in St. Petersburg, FL on a large retention pond. Most of my neighbors on the pond have seawalls. I do not nor do my neighbors to my left and right. I am interested in colorful grasses to put...
view the full question and answer

Non-native smoketree for California City, CA
June 28, 2010 - I was wondering if you could tell me if it would be a good or bad idea to plant a Smoke Tree (most likely European) in the vicinity of a septic tank. We are looking for something which will provide a...
view the full question and answer

Using salt to kill bermuda grass
May 12, 2009 - (Submitting to site per your request on Facebook, plus an added bit o'info) I am considering trying to kill off the bermuda grass around my raised bed with salt. Vinegar isn't cutting it.. S'pos...
view the full question and answer

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