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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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Monday - May 05, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Pests, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Control of invasive sandburs in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My attempts to control / eradicate Sanbur with pre-emergent corn gluten twice yeary for the last three years have been unsuccessful. My post emergent pulling weeds for 15 years has also been unsuccessful. Will adding soil and then re-sodding over the emerged weeds kill them?

ANSWER:

Not surprisingly, you are not the first person from Austin to ask us about Cenchrus spinifex (Coastal sandbur). First, read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer from Austin. In that answer, there is another link to a previous answer from Mission, TX, with complete instructions on the process. That previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer includes the use of pre-emergent corn gluten.

And, no, resodding will not help. These are annuals and each of those little spiny balls that are in the ground is a seed, and it will come back, believe us. Plus, it's native to Travis County and therefore probably more enduring in the environment than whatever grass you are trying to grow.

 

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Grass bur
Cenchrus spinifex

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