En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Post freeze care for Texas native grasses

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

Saturday - January 05, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Post freeze care for Texas native grasses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you tell me the best post-freeze care for Tx native grasses in my garden: lindheimer muhly, gulf muhly, inland sea oats. Mexican feather grass. Do I cut them back? Burn them? Leave them alone? Thank you.

ANSWER:

The key word in your question is "native." When you select plants that are already adapted to an area, it cuts down on the maintenance that has to be done. Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly), Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly), Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats), and Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass) are all native to this area, and will suffer little, if any, from frost. With all grasses, the main concern in trimming is keeping them tidy. It's probably best to leave any dead stems on the grasses until the chances of frost are well over, as the overhanging grasses will help to protect the green part of the plant from an excessive freeze. Then, you might cut about 1/3 of the plant back, and thoroughly rake out any dead or cut ends. Keeping the dead grasses out of the plants is important both to appearance and because the dry material can be a burn hazard. Obviously, we do not advise that you burn anything, especially now with the dry weather in Central Texas, along with high winds.

 


Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Chasmanthium latifolium

Nassella tenuissima

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Muhly grass slow to green up from Spring Hill FL
August 04, 2012 - Have lots of muhly grass planted 3 yrs ago. This yr about 1/3 are VERY slow. Still look like hay stacks. No pattern in the bed. You mentioned pesticides being too close?
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling Groundcover for Phenix AL
March 30, 2014 - Hi I am trying to find a grass or ground cover to control erosion on firing range berms which are 1:1 grade on a firing range outside of Phenix City AL. Sandy clay soil, direct sunlight almost all day...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf in Houston
January 30, 2012 - I want to install a Multi-Species Native Lawn, like HABITURF. However, I live in Houston, Texas and most of your information on this topic doesn't address my region. As I don't have a heavily shaded...
view the full question and answer

Native prairie grasses for East Texas
September 19, 2013 - What are the best grasses for native east texas prairie grass reestablishment, I have a small acreage I would like to turn into native grass land.
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping neglected garden in Franklin CT
April 03, 2011 - I am starting from scratch in a yard that has no planting beds or, for that matter, plants at all. House was vacant for quite some time, grass was three feet tall when we moved in. I would like to p...
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