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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers Nan Hampton, Jimmy Mills and Barbara Medford to be the culpable and capable parties. Yet, others think staff members Damon Waitt, Joe Marcus and Philip Hawkins might play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Questions From Near You

Austin, TX
Do I need to cover my Habiturf planting with straw?
I'm preparing to seed the Habiturf in my front yard in a couple of weeks. My dad has suggested I spread some straw to help protect the seeds. Your thoughts? Thanks!!!
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Austin, TX
Planting wildflowers in spring for spring bloom
I was wondering if it is possible to plant wildflowers around this time of year, and expect them to bloom in the spring still? I have heard that many wildflowers germinate in the fall. Are there c...
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Austin, TX
Lawn fertilizer in Austin
My lawn person wants to spread granulated spring fertilizer on my lawn. Problem is I have a very old Live Oak tree that I do not want to kill. What should I avoid spreading on my lawn to prevent t...
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Austin, TX
Planting fruit and nut trees in Mason County, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 36 acres 15 miles west of the city of Mason TX. I wish to plant one acre plots of sustainable organic crops that are long term and hardy. (cost and effort not an iss...
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Austin, TX
Is Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) poisonous?
I need to know whether any part of Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is poisonous. Am thinking of planting it at an Elder Day Center for people with memory problems and the director insists - no toxic ...
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Austin, TX
Leaf Galls on Live Oak
Hi - I have a live oak tree that always seems to have thinner foliage than our other two. Upon closer examination today I found small brown balls all over the mature leaves. The balls look and feel ve...
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Austin, TX
low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
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Austin, TX
Rain garden plants for Central Texas
Do you have a list of rain garden plants for Central Texas?
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Austin, TX
Non-native hylocereus undatus for Austin
Can we plant Hylocereus (Dragon Fruit) here in Austin, TX? We are going to have a large xeriscape bed and want to know what all we can put in it. We are new to Texas so we have no clue what grows here...
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Austin, TX
Corn gluten on Habiturf from Austin
I live in Central Austin. This past Spring 2013) I replaced my San Augustine lawn with Habiturf. My question concerns corn gluten. It is usually applied in late Jan - mid Feb. Would using corn glu...
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Austin, TX
Best time to plant Habiturf in Austin
When is the best time to plant Habiturf seeds?
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Austin, TX
Difference between soil moisture and water use from Austin
In the native plant data base "growing conditions" can you explain the difference between water use and soil moisture?
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Austin, TX
Groundcover for Austin yard
My main goal is to cover my yard with a "grass" or groundcover that can handle the Texas heat, predicted long drought and some dog paw traffic (without going dormant/brown in the winter). I don't n...
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Austin, TX
Ecosysystem with pecan at center from Austin
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a native tree guild around a mature pecan. It shares its space with native shrubs and ephemerals but I would like to add a nitrogen fixing plant. I am...
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Austin, TX
Winter pruning of lantana from Austin
I live in north Austin. Due to our mild winter, my lantana has not died off this season as it usually does after a freeze - and so I have not cut it back yet this year which I typically do about right...
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Austin, TX
Will hand pollination of red plum tree result in fruits?
Red Plum is blooming but no bees to pollinate & no associate plum trees near by. Can flowers be pollinated by hand with q-tip?
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Austin, TX
pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
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Austin, TX
Seeds to scatter from Austin
Which seeds are good to throw and scatter on lawns or garden beds? Seeds that germinate easily, I suppose?
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Austin, TX
Wildflower Center work on non-native, invasive Bastard Cabbage from Austin
Still have cabbage weeds that infiltrated Austin awhile back. How did Wildflower Center resolve it?
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Austin, TX
Dealing with rain runoff on a slope in Austin
Our lawn is a year old and slopes at about a 45 degree angle with a lot of small holes and tiny gullies from water run-off. I have tried packing them with soil, but it washes away in the rain. Would ...
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Austin, TX
Native turf grass for Austin
I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
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