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

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 Soils Questions

Potting soil recipe for azaleas
October 07, 2007 - I have a couple of Azaleas in pots that need repotting.I can't remember the recipe for the medium I put them in last time other than pine bark mulch. I think there were three ingredients. What is ...
view the full question and answer

Fireplace ash as soil amendment in Maine
September 28, 2011 - It seems that the custom where we summer in Maine is to dispose of wood ash from the fireplace on the plants around the outside of the house. I think this is not a good idea. What is your opinion? I w...
view the full question and answer

Turf grasses and alternatives for NH
October 23, 2010 - I live in Hancock, NH, just north of Peterborough. We just bought a relatively new house that pretty-much has no lawn and minimal landscaping. Can you (or anyone) suggest native lawn grass alternati...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
May 04, 2010 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
view the full question and answer

Should I acidify my well water for native plants
July 15, 2008 - Should I acidify my well water for irrigation of native plants? There is not enough rainwater collection.
view the full question and answer

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