erosion control planting

Asked November 11, 2014, 12:05 AM EST

I live in Rogue River, Evan's Valley, 97537 and want to plant an eroding hillside with native plants. The soil is red clay. The angle is about 30%. It is a totally sunny location. A fern grows here, possibly a bracken fern. Some grass tries to grow also. The grass is straight and upright, and like the fern, burns to brown in the hot summer. I've wondered what the county plants along the I-5 corridor to stabilize the hills. Is it a native grass? Thank you! Kris Strane

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

You have quite a challenge there---soil that could easily become waterlogged if you plant something that needs a lot of irrigation; a steep slope that is in your own words, eroding; and a desire to plant native forage which might increase visits from browsing animals. Some help can be found by visiting pubs. Search on the words "native grasses" and you will have a very long list of a number of articles and pamphlets dealing with choosing, planting, and caring for native grasses. We especially recommend Max Bennett's "Native Grasses for Southwest Oregon" and the Waterwise on Native Grasses. It is also possible that you will need some professional consultation on dealing with the slope. Some landscape contractors would likely recommend a soil stabilizing mesh which can be placed over the seed bed of the grass. it will be hidden once the grass matures. Good luck with researching a grass of your choice!