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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members 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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Using Horse Manure for the Garden
July 07, 2016
Can you use horse manure for decomposed matter for your flower beds, etc.?
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Problem with Adding 5 inches of Mulch and Soil Under Juniper
July 03, 2016
My landscaper added about 3" of mulch and 2" of dirt under my ashe junipers to create a planting bed. Several have turned gold/yellowish this winter including a female tree. They are still flexible an...
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Using seaweed in compost
October 05, 2015
What do you think about using seaweed in compost? I live on the Gulf Coast
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Oyster Shell source in Austin
September 18, 2015
Hi, I was not sure who to reach out to, but I work for Quality Seafood here in Austin, and we have several gardeners who take our old oyster shells and grind them up or put them in their gardens for ...
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Can oak pollen be composted?
April 28, 2015
I have quite a few live oaks in my backyard and my flower beds are filled with pollen stuff. Can I compost and mulch over this or is it a good idea to rake as much as I can out first?
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Ground Arizona ash wood suitable for mulch?
April 23, 2015
We cut down a 40 year old Arizona ash tree and had the stump ground into mulch. Can we use this mulch in our vegetable garden and flower beds
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Converting a Texas backyard to grow Xerophytic native plants
January 09, 2015
I am planning the conversion of our backyard, about 4000 sq ft of largely St Augustine, into a grassless landscape of hardscaping and native plants. Iíve been an avid gardener of rock garden plants i...
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Calcium from Eggshells for Ferns?
December 15, 2014
I was reading recently about beneficial additions to the soil/plant. The first was about soaking used egg shells overnight and then pouring the water onto ferns. They said that the calcium in eggshell...
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Is mulch from hackberry and chinaberry trees safe for flowerbeds?
September 17, 2014
We had to remove several large hackberry and china berry trees. Is its mulch safe to use in garden and in flower beds?
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Late planting plum tree from Lago Vista, TX
May 01, 2014
I have two plum trees in plastic containers that I purchased in March. For a lot of reasons, we didn't get them planted. I have kept them alive by watering consistently, but I am now wondering what...
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