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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 31, 2007

From: Frederick, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Turf
Title: Replacement of lawn with native grasses in Maryland
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in west central Maryland within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. My soil is heavy clay and nutrient deficient. I have/am planting native flower beds and a vegetable garden in an effort to reduce the amount of lawn I have, however, not all of the lawn will go. Currently, the lawn is in a dismal state with most of it either crabgrass or dry and dead due to our current drought conditions. I am looking for a native grass or grasses, including fescues, that I could use to plant and transform my current sad-state-of-affairs lawn into a more native and environmentally-preferred one. I have read some info and noticed that Pennsylvania sedge and red fescue (both native to the watershed) are good replacements. How do I replace my ENTIRE lawn with them? And do you have any other ideas or suggestions as well as places to purchase them? Thank you.

ANSWER:

We could write a very long reply to your question and not come close to providing answers to your questions as useful as a wonderful on-line resource written just for folks in your area. Bayscapes: Native Plant Guides, a publication of the Chesapeake Bay Field Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service may be the best of its kind anywhere in the US. It provides excellent advice on landscaping with native plants, how to select them and where to find them. Two books that will be excellent resources for you are: Wild Lawn Handbood: Alternatives to the Traditionals Front Lawn, by Stevie Daniels and Secrets to Great Soil, by Elisabeth Stell. Finally, we highly recommend contacting your local Maryland Cooperative Extension Service agent for very specific recommendations for your particular landscape.
 

More Turf Questions

Is installing irrigation with Habiturf a good idea in Round Rock Texas?
December 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri...
view the full question and answer

Why are there no low-mow lawn grasses composed of only native fescues?
September 09, 2014 - Dear SP, Most blends of ecograss I see are a combination of non-native and native fescues (and sometimes buffalo grass, blue grama, etc.). Why are there (apparently) none that are composed entirely of...
view the full question and answer

Growth of non-native bermudagrass in Snelville GA
July 16, 2011 - How do you grow Bermuda grass successfully in the state of Georgia? Techniques in fertilization, lawn cutting and general maintenance. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Laredo Texas
July 04, 2011 - I am in Laredo, TX and no longer want to waste water on grass. I would like to pull it all out and plant native, drought resistant ground cover - low growing, between 6-12 inches, sun and partial sha...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
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