Erosion control, planting on a steep slope

Asked October 24, 2020, 12:54 PM EDT

Hello, I live in Florence, and have a fairly steep hill in my backyard that was covered w bark mulch by the prior owner. Beneath the mulch, it appears quite sandy. What are the best plants for erosion control, and do I need to put in mini retaining walls or barriers to help prevent erosion? Or, can I just put in plants to prevent erosion?

Lane County Oregon

1 Response


You can definitely try plants first. This is the time of year to get them started. There are native plants that you can consider. For wetter soils you could consider shrubs like Pacific wax myrtle, rhododendron, western azalea, Red Elderberry. For drier areas, possibly use shrubs like Bristly or Hairy Manzanita (good in well-drained sandy soils), Tall Oregon grape, Noootka rose, Red-flowering currant, evergreen huckleberry, salal (they would still require some watering to get established) If it's sunny, you could consider ground covers like coastal strawberry or Kinnickinick or Armeria maritima (sea thrift).

Here are some suggested plants for erosion control from the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District - https://wmswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Native-Plants-for-Erosion-Control.pdf

Here also is a helpful Oregon State Extension publication - "Gardening with Native Plants West of the Cascades" - https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec1577.pdf