En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 30, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Weed and feed for buffalograss
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is a good winterizer or weed & feed for buffalo grass? I live in Southwest Austin.

ANSWER:

Well, see, one of the best things about planting Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) is that you DON'T have to put on weed and feed materials or do special "winterizing". It is native here, is adapted to our weather, can get what it needs from our soils, and has medium water needs. Since many of the "weeds" you don't want in your buffalograss happen to also be grasses, anything you buy that will "weed" the area will kill the buffalograss just as blithely as it will the weedy grasses. There is no way to explain to an herbicide that one grass is good and the other ones are all bad.

This Texas Cooperative Extension website has excellent information on the planting, cultivation and maintenance of buffalograss. We would call your special attention to these lines in the "Maintenance" section: "Buffalograss does not need fertilization but will respond to light applications of nitrogen. If bermudagrass is undesirable in the lawn, avoid nitrogen fertilization." Further, in commenting on the amount of moisture required, it is noted that medium irrigation during the spring and summer will keep buffalograss green, but "As with fertilization, excessive water promotes bermudagrass." We think you'll agree that the last thing you want in your buffalograss is bermudagrass, a grass imported as a lawn and grazing grass, which has become intensively invasive in flower beds and lawns everywhere.

In summary, you have made an excellent choice, for this part of the state, in planting buffalograss for your lawn. You neither need nor do we encourage you to use any other "additives", herbicides or pesticides. The buffalograss does not require them and you don't want them in the runoff from your property into the water supply.

 


Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Sheet mulching before planting Habiturf from Grand Prairie, TX
March 03, 2014 - Have you tried sheet mulching as a bed prep and to kill bermuda grass before planting habituff?
view the full question and answer

Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
October 02, 2010 - We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
view the full question and answer

Native alternative to Japanese grass from Lake Jackson TX
May 16, 2013 - Is there a native alternative to Little Kitten maiden grass? I was asked to comment on a plan and don't want them to introduce another Japanese plant into our local habitat.
view the full question and answer

Cottage-style landscaping for Chesapeake VA
August 02, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plant staff, I recently moved into a cottage style home that has a poured concrete/paver patio. I am trying to come up with ideas for plantings that would 1. give me a bit of privacy,...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
January 03, 2014 - I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center