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 - January 25, 2008

From: Splendora, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grass for Splendora, Texas.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have a newly built house on a two acre lot in Splendora (zip code 77372). We would like to seed (the best choice) for grass. What about centipede or buffalo grass? The soil is a sand with clay 4 feet underneath. Also, we have "critter holes" that we can't figure out. I know what crawfish "towers" look like (we have a few), but, these others are a mystery. They are up to 2 - 3 inches wide & seem to have a least two entrances. I'm hoping they aren't snake holes!! Any ideas? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants recommends Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), but not Eremochloa ophiuroides (centipede grass) since it is not native to North America and what we are all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "...to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes." Buffalograss does very well in the sun and in partial shade, requires very little water, and doesn't need mowing very often. Please see our article "Native Lawns" for help in establishing a native lawn.

You might also consider using one of the sedges (e.g., Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge), Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge) or Carex texensis (Texas sedge)) in place of grass for your lawn. For more on the advantages of replacing grass with sedges read Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape by John Greenlee.

There are several plants that aren't grasses or sedges that will also work as groundcovers; for instance, Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy), Geum canadense (white avens), and Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit).

Now for those critter holes, have you considered that they could be made by moles or gophers? I think this, or some other rodent, is more likely than snakes; but, without seeing a picture of them, I'm afraid that's about the best I can do. You might check with your Montgomery County Extension Office to see if they have any ideas for you.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Carex cherokeensis

Carex blanda

Carex texensis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Geum canadense

Phyla nodiflora

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
April 30, 2013 - Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
view the full question and answer

Seep Muhly in limited sunlight.
July 01, 2015 - Can Seep Muhly withstand just 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight in an urban setting?
view the full question and answer

Benefits of Habiturf from Austin
August 19, 2013 - I have been reading about Habiturf and my question should be easy to answer. Is this is a grass you would recommend for kid play? Sitting on the lawn, kicking a soccer ball, etc. Any information a...
view the full question and answer

Encouraging native grasses to flourish
August 23, 2007 - We have been trying to restore the yard around the house with native grasses and forbs for the last two years. The soil is clay and nothing seems to grow. We have distributed 5 truck loads of mulch, p...
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
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