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

Friday - December 07, 2007

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch
Title: Shredded hardwood for mulch
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I intend to landscape a section of my new property. but want to wait until the cold weather has passed. I have pets that will be contained within a fenced-in area that has some wild grasses but also large sections of dirt. I had some cedars and a few live oaks (with consideration to oak wilt concerns) taken out and put through a chipper. Would it be a good idea to spread that mulch on the areas of dirt until I can landscape? Or would another material be better?

ANSWER:

Ooh, lucky you. You have the very thing you need for mulching, and you don't have to pay for it. Well, probably you paid to have it chipped, but anyway. If you go to a nursery and look at bagged mulches, you'll notice that some of the best are called "shredded hardwood," which is what you have. They will make a super mulch while you prepare to landscape, and should be easy on your pets' feet. And the nicest thing about that mulch is that it will continue to decompose, and can be turned into the soil as an enrichment, or smoothed back over the roots of the new plants as you put them in. The only time you will need to scrape it away is if you are planting seeds directly into the ground. The seeds need sunlight to sprout. Of course, the weeds will also be delighted to sprout when you scrape away the mulch, but you can't have everything. This Natural Resources Conservation Service website will give you all kinds of good information on what to use and how to use it as mulch.

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
April 02, 2010 - I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?
view the full question and answer

Removing St. Augustine for natives in Grapevine TX
September 29, 2012 - We have St Augustine in our yard and we hate it. It guzzles water, we have to cut it often, and it's thick and hard to work with. Anyway, we want to replace it with a combination of some kind of g...
view the full question and answer

Cenizo as a Foundation Plant in Austin
December 09, 2010 - We live next to the wildflower center. We would like to plant "Leucophyllum frutescens". We are hoping to use this as a foundation plant. Will it survive if planted in Dec. Please offer any tips ...
view the full question and answer

Mulching tree root in San Angelo, TX
April 02, 2014 - San Angelo, Texas is in a drought stage. Will it help our trees to mulch the base of them?
view the full question and answer

Problem with Adding 5 inches of Mulch and Soil Under Juniper
July 03, 2016 - My landscaper added about 3" of mulch and 2" of dirt under my ashe junipers to create a planting bed. Several have turned gold/yellowish this winter including a female tree. They are still flexible an...
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