Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Friday - August 26, 2011

From: Abilene,, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Soils, Watering, Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Erosion at edge of driveway in Abilene TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My lawn suffered a great loss of grass over the winter and the soil at the edge of the driveway is washing away with watering and the occasional rains that we have. I am trying to get the grass to grow there but in the meantime I would like some tips on how to prevent the erosion. Is there something other than the landscape edgings that I could use? Thank you.

ANSWER:

You have rains in Abilene? Wow! In Austin, we just have heat wave, but we can see where watering could be causing loss of soil.

There are erosion blankets available at nurseries, but they would probably be overkill for your space, since they are designed for hillsides, large areas. If the point where the erosion is occurring has curb and driveway, we think a flexible landscape edging, which can be held in place by curb and driveway, would be the best choice. We would suggest that you first build up the area with some compost, as you no doubt have lost a lot of good soil, not to mention grass seed if that is the way you are going. The edging will help keep that new dirt in place where you are going to want to replant.

There is no point in planting anything now until it cools off some. In the meantime, please read our How-To Articles on Native Lawns: Buffalo Grass  and Native Lawns: Multi-Species. When the appropriate time comes for replacing the grass in the affected area, it would be good if you can obtain sod, as this can be put down on the composted area, and have a better chance of staying in place. Grasses are excellent for preventing erosion, as they have long, fibrous roots, but you have to give those roots dirt, so they can get started right.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Watering grass, before or after cutting it
August 21, 2008 - Should I water my grass before or after cutting it, after it has not been watered in a few days along with dry times?
view the full question and answer

Starting over on a lawn in Heath TX
April 02, 2013 - Unless one counts dichondra as grass I have more weeds than grass in my yard.I have hand pulled the weeds and used an organic program without success. The soil is a hard clay typical of North Texas. I...
view the full question and answer

Time to Plant Blue Grama Seeds in Spring Branch, Texas
June 11, 2011 - We would like to plant Blue Grama grass seeds but due to the hot weather with no rain here in central Texas, can we wait until September or even October to plant grass seeds? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Landscaping recommendations for site in Dubuque, IA
March 27, 2010 - I need a seed recommendation. Here are the variables: Location: Dubuque, IA (east Central Iowa) Soil type: Sandy to sandy and gravelly. Part is a riverbank facing east. Steep bank then flat to ...
view the full question and answer

Quick and EZ way to cover bare spots in lawn with grass
March 09, 2015 - We recently had to dig up our lawn to have a pipe replaced. We now have a long strip of our yard that is either dug up or covered by some of the dirt that is dug up. We want to fill in the grass. W...
view the full question and answer

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