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
1 rating

Friday - July 06, 2007

From: Rocky Ford, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Maintenance of Blue grama in early stages
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am seeding my large back yard with blue grama - 30-45 minutes of almost daily hand weeding for two months keeps me from falling too far behind on the green foxtail, bindweed, elm tree seedlings, pigweed, ragweed etc etc --- yet it's getting rather boring and tiring - now I am developing several pesky sections of annual bluegrass - is there a post emergent that can knock these sections back until I can use a preemergent in the fall and spring?

ANSWER:

Alas, you are facing the Gardener's Dilemma-you prepare a large area with ideal conditions for plants to grow and then the wrong plants come up. The standard response to this is that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. But that's not what you want to hear. And you also don't want to hear that hand weeding is the most effective and earth-friendly way to remove said unwanted plants. Blue grama is an excellent choice for a native lawn grass and is most effectively planted by seeding. In your climate and elevation in Southeastern Colorado it should form sod and be a perennial. Like its near relative, Bouteloua gracilis (buffalograss), often planted with blue grama, it is a high maintenance lawn, especially in the early stages. As you water and fertilize those seeds, many opportunistic weed seeds are waiting in the soil for the same tender loving care.

While herbicide intervention may be possible for some of the plants that are dicots or broad-leaved plants, the bluegrass is a grass, just as your blue grama is, and herbicides can't differentiate between two grasses. Since you are planning to use this as a lawn, rather than a grazing area, you might mow it two or three times a year to try to keep the annual weeds from reseeding.


Bouteloua gracilis

Bouteloua dactyloides
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Control of non-native invasive Japanese Barberry from Enfield NH
April 22, 2014 - I recently bought a home that is bordered by woods and a sizable area of invasive Japanese Barberry growing on a steep hill in and around a stone wall making it that much harder to dig up. I've alway...
view the full question and answer

Plants for delineating property line
July 18, 2010 - I have a neighbor who does not mow his grass or take care of a strip that runs between my property and his. I would like to plant some inexpensive, low maintenance, shrubs, that would do well in full...
view the full question and answer

Could lilacs grow in Georgia?
April 27, 2010 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, First off, I want to commend you on your promotion of native plants. I am passionately anti-invasive plants (in fact, it was the subject of my master's thesis). That being said...
view the full question and answer

Control of English ivy
November 27, 2007 - I need to know if there is a way to kill, or contain, English Ivy that was planted as groundcover next door. Despite my discouragement, my next door neighbor planted English Ivy as groundcover all alo...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of invasive Florida betony from Myrtle Beach SC
April 28, 2012 - How can I get rid of Florida Betony from my lawn and flower beds/ garden area. Garden area was thoroughly dug up and hand picked of all tubules last year at least a foot deep. They are much worse now....
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