Hillside prairie or shrubs

theresa2(z5)August 9, 2010

I have a sunny hillside that is currently lawn edged by a shrub border. I want to convert this hillside to a native planting so that I don't have to mow it any more. My question is, will shrubbery hold the hillside as well as a prairie planting? Any experienced advice would be appreciated.

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lycopus(z5 NY)

Shrubs will do a decent job of controlling erosion but a prairie planting would do it better.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 2:05PM
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Thanks lycopus. I kind of figured a prairie would be better because up here, in Wisconsin, they are removing woody vegetation from earthen dams. I heard somewhere that it's because the woody roots form pathways for water that may infiltrate the ground undermining the integrity of a dam. I just wanted to see what others thought, or had experience with, before I progressed with my hillside.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:21AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

That is pretty much it. A prairie has more vegetation near ground level to reduce runoff and increase infiltration. In my experience a hill with deeply rooted forbs and grasses with have a deeper layer of topsoil than one with only woody vegetation.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 10:55AM
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