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Erosion Control Plants

 
Natasha Bailey
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What are some good plants for erosion control for a sloped hillside? The main area is for right above a rainwater ditch and it is newly dug and is washing out constantly. We know we need to plant it but just not sure what to choose. We are zone 8 Northern California. Slope faces South and South West mostly. I've done searches and have some info on vetiver, clovers... looking for more ideas and experience please
 
John Elliott
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Iceplant? CalTrans seems to like it to stabilize the hillsides of steep on and off ramps.
 
Amit Enventres
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Location: Ohio, USA
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fish food preservation forest garden
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*gasp* not iceplant. Okay, it stabilizes and rumor has it they're edible (I've never tried) but they are also a known invasive. First, what slope are you talking and what amountn of water is running by it? At a certain slope & water flow you might not be able to get anything established. Second, you're looking for things that are local, deep rooted (though not usually tall), and perennial. The best advice might be to go to your local Conservation District or Natural Resources Conservation Service, since they usually have a plant list for this type of stuff. You might need to terrace or place rock, hay, and/or jute netting in order to reduce erosion enough to get things started. You might want to check-out straw-bale dikes. They're good if there's a chance for establishment. You may also want to consider directing the water that is running down that area to a different spot. It's hard to tell not seeing it. If you have a picture, I might be able to say something more precise. Also, what's the soil like there? That has a huge affect on what can grow. Lupins, poppies, and barely are often used as quick cover on something that can recover, but again, it's hard to assess without seeing it Also, if you're thinking more edible, then you'll want something different.
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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