Seeds of native grasses prevent bank failures

Hillside gardeners do your part to stabilize the banks—sow seed of California native grasses to help prevent soil erosion. November through March is the best time to plant as seedlings take advantage of winter rains to grow their extensive, soil-knitting, root systems. 

Consider sowing seed of Festuca rubra, the Creeping Red Fescue. This native bunchgrass has rich green flowing blades and makes a lumpy naturalistic lawn. It is especially well-suited for shady slopes. Drought tolerant once established. 

Another ornamental species to consider is Festuca idahoensis, the Idaho Fescue. Slightly more robust, and preferring full sun, its blue-green foliage grows from 

1 to 2 feet high and equally wide. The larval food plant for Lindsey’s Skipper Butterfly, its leaves stand out dramatically against contrasting garden plants in shades of red or silver.

Both these species plus a dozen or so other native grasses are available in seed packs at $7.99 each.