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Moosa Creek Blog

slope stabilization

Creekside Chat

 Erosion control is an issue with which many property owners wrestle. Our weather patterns have changed so that rainstorms are inundations, and the protection of topsoil is a priority. The best way to prevent topsoil erosion on slopes is by landscaping.

Low-growing, sprawling plants will protect the soil from heat, pounding rain and weeds. Leaves break up raindrops which then gently infiltrate the ground.  Fiberous root structures hold soil particles together.  When these protective plants can be drought tolerant, attractive, maintenance-free and provide food and habitat for birds and butterflies, you really can’t go wrong.

A widely used erosion control plant is Dwarf Coyote Brush Pigeon Point. It grows moderately quickly to only 1’ x 6’, and is a host plant for many native beneficial insects. An even more compact cultivar is Twin Peaks #2.  Both of these like good drainage and are tough enough to withstand some foot traffic. A standard chaparral plant is the colonizing California Buckwheat which rapidly fills in the toughest landscape cuts. Its white flower clusters are bee magnets. Or try it’s low growing cousin Bruce Dickinson Buckwheat

 For slopes with some shade the low-growing Carmel Sur Manzanita or Bert Johnson Manzanita offer the lovely rounded leaves, bell-shaped flowers and reddish stems so distinctive of the family. Point Reyes Manzanita and Woods Compact Groundcover Manzanita also appreciate inland shade or coastal sun, and supplemental summer watering.

 For dry shade, such as under oak trees, the blue-flowering Centennial Wild Lilac will thrive there. It is great for the soil as it takes nitrogen from the air and fixes it onto nodules on its roots.

Many erosion control plants are taller, such as Western Goldenrod that birds adore, or the tall blousy white blooms of Matillija Poppy. Remember that a combination of plants offers the best protection, and the best habitat.

 Whichever native you choose, you will be turning your erosion problem into a lovely landscape that also helps the wildlife.

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