En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Eliminating weeds from seeded wildflower stands

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 - June 25, 2007

From: Nacogdoches, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Eliminating weeds from seeded wildflower stands
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Eastern Central Texas in a small community on Texas Highway 7. Last fall, we went to the Wildseed Flower Farm near Fredricksburg and purchased a bag of mixed wildflower seeds and planted them in the 'ditch area' between our property and the highway. They sprang to life this year and really are beautiful. The problem is, now we have the weeds coming up among these pretty flowers and my husband would like to know what we can do to eliminate the weeds and not harm the wildflowers. It was suggested that we contact the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Any suggestions that you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Our plans are to go back to the Wildflower Seed Farm this Fall and purchase more seeds so that eventually we will have the entire area planted with wildflowers. We were afraid that all the rain we had recently might cause these flowers to drown out, but they survived the flooded area they were in for a short time, and seem to be okay now. Thank you for any help you might provide. I know that in some areas the counties cut these spaces next to the highway, but it appears that most of the residents in this area cut these spaces themselves. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone who has these areas in front of their property would be able to plant wildflowers. We would be the envy of all who travel through our state because there is nothing prettier than the wildflowers that we grow here in Texas.

ANSWER:

First of all, Mr. Smarty Plants recommends that you read "Planting Wildflowers along Roadsides" and "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" in our How To Articles. Both articles contain information that should aid you in your project. If you have a mower with an adjustable height blade and the weeds are taller than your wildflowers, you could mow down the weeds and let the wildflowers remain. If all your wildflowers, or at least most of them, have already dropped their seeds, you can mow everything. You should try to remove any seedheads from the weeds that are among the clippings from the mowing, however. You can remove by hand or garden tools any of the larger, more obnoxious weeds—again, being careful to not let the seedheads remain on the ground. You will want to sow more wildflower seeds in the fall even if your wildflowers have reseeded themselves. This will provide a larger population of wildflowers to compete with the weeds. Native grasses sown along with your wildflowers will also help to keep the weeds in check. Native American Seed in Junction, Texas has a wildflower seed mix (Native Trail Mix) that contains native grasses as well as a large number of different wildflowers. The two articles named above have more suggestions for managing your wildflower roadside planting.

This sounds like a wonderful project. I hope that your wildflowers will inspire your neighbors to follow your example and plant wildflowers of their own.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnet trip planning from Searcy AR
February 10, 2013 - We are planning a Spring Bluebonnet trip to east, central and south Texas. Is there an average timetable for Blubonnet blooming in the areas of San Antonio, Hill Country, Austin and east, and Northea...
view the full question and answer

Deer and Drought Resistant Natives for San Marcus, Texas
February 15, 2012 - Hi there, Do you have a list of plants and ground covers (deer/drought resistant) for the San Marcos area? Much as I love grass, it's impossible with this drought. I'd love to have lots of flowers ...
view the full question and answer

Instructions on making wildflower seed balls
September 20, 2007 - About 2 years ago I visited the LBJ Wildflower Center and picked up a sheet that described how to make wildflower seed mud balls. I've lost the sheet and can't find the directions on your site. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Grass in mixed wildflowers in Gloucester VA
September 02, 2009 - I have a acre of mixed wildflowers which is in its 3rd season. I now have some grass issues. I have sprayed for just the grass but still have too much. Should I bush hog, disk and replant ??
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center