Q: What can you tell me about using weeping lovegrass on steep banks for erosion control? When is the best time to plant and how?
A: Weeping Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula) is a native of South Africa introduced into the U.S. in the 1930’s as cattle forage and erosion control. It establishes very well on poor soil and gives a quick cover. The roots are extensive and hold the soil tightly on a steep bank. Several members of the Eragrostis family are used for rangeland plantings out West but the Virginia Native Plant Society considers it an invasive exotic plant. One person’s wonder is another person’s weed!
In my experience, lovegrass is relatively short-lived. It is usually planted as a nurse crop, to give shelter to fescue or lespedeza plants as they become established on steeply-banked roadsides. The best time to plant is in spring. Adams-Briscoe Seed (770-775-7826) is a local supplier.