En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - December 23, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Compost and Mulch, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Revegetation of school site with meadow plants from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are revegetating a hill country school site (typical calciferous soil stripped of vegetation & minimal topsoil) with a native seed mix equal to Native American Seed "Meadow Mix". We have an abundance of mulch from trees/vegetation that was removed from the site. it has aged for 1 year. After the seed is broadcast, what is the maximum depth of mulch that should be placed over the seed? Do we need to wait until spring to plant

ANSWER:

We have some really great How-To Articles that will help you with all of your project. We will start with Under Cover with Mulch. Please note particularly the last line under "Good Mulching Practices":

"Mulching inhibits all seeds growth, so leave seeds you may be trying to germinate uncovered."

We will get back to that with some other ideas on using that mulch in your project, but for now, please go to the section of How-To Articles and read all of the articles under "Large Scale Wildflower Planting," including:

Getting Started

Meadow Gardening - Under "When to Plant" in that article, take note of this statement:

"Fall is the best time to plant many native species in Central Texas."

Recreating a Prairie

Seed Collecting and Storage

Obviously, our recommended time for seeding is now past, and the mulch you have should not be spread over the seeds in any circumstances. However, that mulch is pure gold and we hate to see it wasted. Our Best of all Worlds personal recommendation would be to postpone the planting until Fall 2014. In the meantime, till some of that wonderful mulch into your minimal topsoil. Since the mulch has already aged a year, it should be in prime condition to begin loosening up and enriching that worn-out soil. It will become an integral part of a dark, rich soil that is just waiting for your seeds next October.

We believe you have all the components of a successful revegetation and reincarnation of a native meadow; just your timing is a little off. Best of luck!

 

 

 

 

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

Desmodium spp. (beggar's lice) in Leander TX
November 11, 2011 - Our home backs up to a greenbelt on Blockhouse Creek in Williamson County, Texas (FM 1431 and Parmer Lane). The combination of the flood and drought has left our beautiful greenbelt with an abundance...
view the full question and answer

Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
April 25, 2013 - I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

Native lawn grass for Seabrook TX
March 12, 2013 - We want to seed our lawn in Seabrook, Tx.77586 with a Natural Grass replacing our St. Augustine Grass. I think there is one that is drought resistant (only water it twice a month.) and that does not g...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center