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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - July 31, 2007

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Practicality of Cedar Elm and buffalo grass in clay soil in East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in Katy Texas on what used to be a rice field. The soil either has a lot of clay in it or in places is just solid clay. Will any kind of buffalo grass grow here? I've read that the Cedar Elm does well in clay, would that be a good tree for us? Any help with growing native plants in clay on the Katy prairie would be very appreciated. Thanks!

ANSWER:

As long as you have plenty of sunshine, Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) should do fine in your clay soil in Harris County. There are a number of different varieties available and it would be a good idea to check with a nursery in the area that specializes in native plants to find the best one for your area. You can find those in our National Suppliers Directory. Turffalo, developed by Texas Tech University, has been getting good press, but your best bet is to seek the advice of someone local who has had experience with buffalo grass in your area.

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) should also do fine in your clay soils.


Ulmus crassifolia

 

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