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Erosion Control

Plants that root on slopes can absorb wind and water that erode topsoil.

When selecting plants for erosion control or slope stabilization be sure to consider soil depth and drainage. Areas where erosion control is an issue, soil is usually lacking microorganisms and nutrients or suffering from compaction. Applying compost as mulch can be used as an erosion control material that also enhances soil.

When tilled into the surface, compost modifies the physical soil properties, improving water-holding ability and resistance to compaction. The microorganisms in compost aid in the formation of soil aggregates, the building blocks of good soil structure. Spaces in the aggregates allow water to percolate the soil and air to reach plant roots. When soil particles aggregate together, they are less likely to erode during rainstorms.

In clay soils, compost reduces the bulk density and increases the porosity, thus improving the exchange of air and water through the soil. In sandy soils, compost increases the water-holding capacity and soil aggregation.

  • If you cannot amend the soil of the entire slope, amend it a hole at a time.
  • Fast growing species that have spreading root systems will “hold” the soil in place quicker.

Ornamental grasses offer a variety of design ideas and options to planting a slope. Recommended ground covers for erosion control includes: Ajuga (sun & shade), Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Sun or light shade), Chrysogonum virginianum (light shade), Convallari majallisa (shade), Dianthus gratianopolitanus (sun), Dryopteris erythrosora (Part sun to full shade), Epimedium (Sun or light shade), Euonymus (sun & shade), Hedera (sun & shade), Hypericum (sun or light shade), Lamiastrum (sun & shade), Lantana (sun), Liriope muscari (sun & shade), Liriope spicata (sun & shade), Mazus (sun), Ophipogon japonicus (sun & shade), Pachysandra (shade), Phlox subulata (sun), Rubus (sun), Santolina chamaecyparissus (sun), Trachelospermum jasminoides (sun & shade), Vinca major (sun & shade):

  • Osmunda regalis (bare root plant)

    Osmunda regalis (bare root plant)

    Osmunda regalisCommon Name: royal fernFamily: OsmundaceaeZone: 3 to 9Height: 2 to 3 feetSpread: 2 to 3 feetSun: Part shade to full shadeWater: Medium to wetMaintenance: LowNaturalize, Rain GardenTolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade, Wet Soil Mature field grown...

    $3.54
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  • Osmunda cinnamomea

    Osmunda cinnamomea (bare root plant)

    Osmunda cinnamomeaCommon Name: Cinnamon FernFamily: OsmundaceaeZone: 2 to 10Height: 2 to 5 feetSpread: 2 to 3 feetSun: Part shade to full shadeWater: Medium to wetMaintenance: LowNaturalize, Rain GardenTolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade, Wet Soil Native to...

    $3.54
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  • Osmunda regalis

    Osmunda regalis (3.5 inch pot)

    Osmunda regalisCommon Name: royal fernFamily: OsmundaceaeZone: 3 to 9Height: 2 to 3 feetSpread: 2 to 3 feetSun: Part shade to full shadeWater: Medium to wetMaintenance: LowNaturalize, Rain GardenTolerate: Rabbit, Heavy Shade, Wet Soil Click here for more...

    $3.54
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  • Euonymus f. 'Coloratus'

    Euonymus f. 'Coloratus' (bare root plant)

    Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' a/k/a Japanese Euonymus, purple leaf wintercreeper, wintercreeper euonymus, purple wintercreeper euonymus Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Mature size: 8 to 24 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth.Extremely hardy,...

    $1.56
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  • Euonymus f. 'Coloratus'

    Euonymus f. 'Coloratus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' a/k/a Japanese Euonymus, purple leaf wintercreeper, wintercreeper euonymus, purple wintercreeper euonymus Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Mature size: 8 to 24 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth.Extremely hardy,...

    $3.83
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  • Euonymus f. 'Coloratus'

    Euonymus f. 'Coloratus' (2.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus' a/k/a Japanese Euonymus, purple leaf wintercreeper, wintercreeper euonymus, purple wintercreeper euonymus Zone: 4 to 9. Sun to Shade. Mature size: 8 to 24 inches height; fast spreading, vine-like growth.Extremely hardy,...

    $2.48
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  • Euonymus f. 'Acutus'

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (bare root plant)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' Wintercreeper Zones: 5 - 9.Full sun to partial shade Evergreen, trailing groundcover with 1" - 1 1/2" leaves. Only new growth turns purple in fall. Mature height 1' - 2'. Flower Color: White. Bloom Time: Late winter to early spring...

    $1.56
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  • Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (3.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' Wintercreeper Zones: 5 - 9.Full sun to partial shade Evergreen, trailing groundcover with 1" - 1 1/2" leaves. Only new growth turns purple in fall. Mature height 1' - 2'. Flower Color: White. Bloom Time: Late winter to early spring...

    $3.83
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  • Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (2.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' (2.5 inch pot)

    Euonymus f. 'Acutus' Wintercreeper Zones: 5 - 9.Full sun to partial shade Evergreen, trailing groundcover with 1" - 1 1/2" leaves. Only new growth turns purple in fall. Mature height 1' - 2'. Flower Color: White. Bloom Time: Late winter to early spring...

    $2.48
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