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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


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.


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.


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January 29, 2012 - Dear Mr Smartypants, We were struck by the outbreak of tornadoes last spring and our wonderful woods are now unsightly sloping pastures with erosion problems.. many stumps and coils of roots. We are...
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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...
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California native bunch grasses good for erosion control
November 21, 2010 - In response to your answer about deep rooted native plants good for erosion control, don't forget to include native bunchgrasses. here in California, our bunchgrasses have roots that go 10ft, 20ft de...
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Plants for vertical cliff in Pismo, CA
July 11, 2011 - Need help with erosion control on an 80' steep to vertical, top-soil, south facing cliff, Pismo CA (central coast) area. Terracing not an option. Prefer native, colorful plants that will give the bes...
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