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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

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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Thursday - April 10, 2014

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Replacing St. Augustine grass from Dallas TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Dear Mr. Pants, we are replacing dying St. Augustine grass in a small, sunny back yard with ground cover. What are your recommendations for a drought-tolerant evergreen ground cover? We will till and amend the soil. Thanks!


Please, please, please - Plants with an "L", thank you.

Frankly, we are not sorry your non-native St. Augustine is dying. In drought plagued Texas and the Southwest, water guzzlers like St. Augustine are a problem. Since you are in Dallas and have a sunny lawn area, allow us to introduce you to Habiturf.

First, is this a good grass for North Central Texas? Read his previous question from Grand Prairie.

From another previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer:

"Since Habiturf was developed right here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (home of Mr. Smarty Plants) we certainly recommend Habiturf, and have extensive material on it to answer your questions. Please follow this link: Habiturf The Ecological Lawn and any other links in that answer. Be sure and pay attention to the information on preparing the site for your Habiturf, as that will involve removing unwanted plants and improving the soil quality. We hope you will be very happy with this water-conserving grass."

We recommend you read all the material in the links above, particularly noting the part about developing the soil. Now is a good time to get going, get it planted and we hope you are very happy with it.




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