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Tuesday - September 02, 2014

From: Salem, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs
Title: Erosion Control for Salem IN
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson


We've recently had a new pond dug. It is on a hill side and has some very steep and tall banks. We were advised that our best chance of keeping soil from eroding was to plant fescue. I'm not thrilled about the idea of it and would like something more attractive. Any suggestions?


  Fescues would work, but by themselves – I would agree, not very exciting.  When Mr Smarty Plants is asked about erosion solutions, we try to recommend native grasses with nice deep and extensive root system and also shrubs that similarly hold the soil with their root systems.

   Here’s a selection of previous answers that Mr. Smarty Plants published about erosion control and groundcover for similar places to Salem, Indiana:

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana

Erosion Control for Shady Ditches   

Plants for a pond edge in IN 

Bioswale for Indianapolis  

Native plants for a bioswale in Indianapolis  

Need to Stabilize River Bank in Kentucky  

   The technique to choose plants to attractively secure your hillside is listed in these and also a number of suggestions.  Of the ones I found and read about in those discussions, I would suggest:


Pyrola elliptica (Waxflower shinleaf) [shade]
Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry dogwood)
Rubus pubescens (Dwarf red blackberry)
Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)
Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)
Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)
Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy bluestem)

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)  [shade]
Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush
Gaylussacia baccata (Black huckleberry)
Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry)
Lindera benzoin (Northern spicebush)


From the Image Gallery

Waxflower shinleaf
Pyrola elliptica

Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

Dwarf red blackberry
Rubus pubescens

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Panicum virgatum

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Mitchella repens

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Black huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata

Common winterberry
Ilex verticillata

Northern spicebush
Lindera benzoin

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