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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):

  • Epimedium 'Spine Tingler'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Epimedium ssp. n. 'Spine Tingler' (30)ct Flat

    Epimedium ssp. n. 'Spine Tingler' (30)ct Flat Common Name: Barrenwort'Spine Tingler' is aptly named for its dark green leaves that have spiny margins. These leaves take on a slight blush tint. Soft yellow flowers bloom on compact plants in mid to late...

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  • Epimedium 'Sandy Claws'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Epimedium w. 'Sandy Claws' (30)ct Flat

    Epimedium w. 'Sandy Claws' (30)ct Flat Common Name: BarrenwortThis woodland perennial is perfect to combine with other shade staples like Hostas and ferns. 'Sandy Claws' has a similar leaf shape to 'Spine Tingler' but forms a larger plant with long,...

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  • Epimedium 'Amber Queen'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Epimedium 'Amber Queen' PP17197 (30)ct Flat

    Epimedium 'Amber Queen' PP17197 (30)ct Flat Common Name: Barrenwort, Longspur EpimediumA dazzling unique Epimedium that will catch your eye-it certainly caught ours! Epimediums are uncommon in the market and in high demand. The airy, delicate-looking...

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  • Epimedium 'Pink Champagne'

    Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' (30)ct Flat

    Epimedium, ‘Lilac Fairy’  (30)ct Flat Common Name: Barrenwort, Longspur Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' produces flowers with white spurs and raspberry centers. The delicate-looking flowers have an airy feel, making it the perfect...

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  • Epimedium 'Domino'

    Epimedium 'Domino' (30)ct Flat

    Epimedium 'Domino' (30)ct Flat Barrenwort, Longspur Epimedium, ‘Lilac Fairy’. 'Domino' produces flowers with white spurs and pink centers. The delicate-looking flowers have an airy feel, making it the perfect contrast to other shade items...

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