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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):

  • Phlox s. 'Eye Shadow'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Phlox s. 'Eye Shadow' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Phlox s. 'Eye Shadow' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants Common Name: Creeping Phlox, Moss PinksCreeping Phlox are a classic harbinger of spring, exploding with color as a sign that the final days of winter are past. 'Eye Shadow' forms a mound of bright green,...

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  • Phlox subulata 'Snowflake'

    Phlox subulata 'Snowflake' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Snowflake' Common name: Phlox-Creeping, Moss Pinks. Zones 2 to 9. Full sun. Plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide; spreading, mat-forming habit. Growth rate: Moderate, easy to grow. 'Snowflake' forms a short, tight,...

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  • Phlox subulata 'Red Wing'

    Phlox subulata 'Red Wing' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Red Wing' Common name: Phlox-Creeping, Moss Pinks. Zones 2 to 9. Full sun. Plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide; spreading, mat-forming habit. Growth rate: Moderate, easy to grow. This compact variety forms a short,...

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  • Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

    Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty' Flower Colour Mauve/Lilac Blooming Time Mid SpringLate Spring Foliage Color Deep Green Plant Uses ; Characteristics Alpine ; RockContainersDrought TolerantEdgingEvergreenGround CoverWild Flower Click here for more ordering...

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  • Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'

    Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' a/k/a Moss Phlox. Zone: 3 to 9. Full sun to filtered sun.Mature size: 6 to 8 inch height; spreads 2 feet. Fragrant, pink and white stripe flowers atop a dense carpet of needle-like foliage. Colorful and compact, creeping...

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  • Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald'

    Phlox subulata 'Blue Emerald' (3.5 inch pot)

    Phlox subulata 'BlueEmerald' Common Name: Creeping Phlox or Moss Phlox.Zones 3 to 9; Full sun to partial shade. Colorful and compact, creeping Phlox can reach 6 inches in height and spread out 2 feet, creating a thick mat of evergreen to semi-evergreen...

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