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

Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
September 12, 2006 - Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
view the full question and answer

Invasive iceplant in Hawaii
October 29, 2008 - Last time I checked Hawaii was in North America. Invasive or not, iceplant continues to be a much used ground cover etc for golf courses, sides of the freeway and many many City and County projects pr...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Information on various plants from Alamo TX
November 15, 2009 - Have you heard of the following plants: Butterfly Iris,Compact Nanpina, Red Dwarf Turks? I would like to know some details on the above plant: size, flowers?, drought tolerant, where to plant Thanki...
view the full question and answer

Do Salvia coccinea and Salvia occidentalis occur in Hawaii
April 27, 2008 - Aloha, Would you please happen to know if the salvia occidentalis and the salvia coccinea are growing in a wild state in Hawaii, the quantity (small or large areas? What are the weather conditions ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center