Maintain Your Pipes and Your Business

Florida's Native Grasses Control Erosion Beautifully In Sloping Yards

by Sheila Vasquez

The Florida landscape is largely flat, but in North Florida, you will find areas with rolling hills. If your North Florida yard slopes, planting it requires more than just sticking some plants in the ground. Florida's soil and climate present a few special problems and native grasses provide a perfect solution.

Planning Erosion Control

Florida's soil is largely sand, and on a slope, that can make erosion control challenging. If your slope is steep enough, you may consider terracing to not only stop erosion but to create usable space. If you want to simply plant the slope to stabilize the soil, native Florida grasses will do the job well.

Choosing Grasses for Sloping Yards

Grasses for a sloping yard must be drought resistant because water will naturally run down through the soil to its lowest point, not really sticking around so thirsty plants can get enough. Native grasses are used to living on what nature gives them, so they are attractive, functional and low-maintenance.

Florida's native grasses provide a simple, but beautiful way to achieve erosion control on a slope. Some possibilities are

  • Muhly Grass - very popular in xeriscaping, Muhly grass is a low-growing grass that bursts into a cloud of pink blooms in the fall. It sets roots and becomes established quickly, holding your soil firmly in place. Its clumps grow larger with age, and soon you will have a solid mass of summer green and fall color.
  • Purple Love Grass - an attractive, low-growing grass that is used extensively in borders, as a groundcover, and as edging. Its fine textured leaves remain green through the summer and puts on a show in the fall with misty purple plumage rising six inches about the plant. Purple love grass spreads by rhizomes, and prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade.
  • Fakahatchee Grass - a tall and imposing grass, Fakahatchee grass is one of the easiest native grasses to grow. Its leaves stand upright to 6 feet in height and clumps can grow to 4 feet wide. It blooms in late spring and early summer, with slender bloom stalks rising above the leaves. The leaves turn striking red and bronze colors after a frost.

Grasses are easy to care for once established, but it's best to let the pros do the planting to ensure proper soil preparation and spacing. Your locallandscape construction service contractor can recommend suitable Florida native grasses for your sloping site and install them properly so they stay in place and provide the erosion control you need.