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 - 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

Comparison of native turf with St. Augustine and Kentucky bluegrass
May 11, 2011 - The native turf page mentions outperforming Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, and Kentucky blue, but the graphs only compare the natives to Bermudagrass. How do the native mixes stand up to St. Augustine...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for medians in Colorado Springs
June 11, 2010 - Our city has stopped watering our historic landscaped medians due to severe budget shortfalls. The medians were historically tree boulevards but have had curb and gutter and blue grass added over th...
view the full question and answer

Native flower bed with part sun
December 05, 2008 - I have recently put in three small flower beds and replaced the hard clay with decent dirt. The site is shaded in the AM but mostly sun in the PM. I would like to plant natives - what can you recommen...
view the full question and answer

Want to replace lawn in Ecorse, Michigan.
May 04, 2014 - Hi! I want to replace my lawn, and not have to mow it much at all. What would you suggest? It will be walked on and utilized as a normal lawn. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive bermudagrass from Memphis TN
August 17, 2012 - I live in central Memphis and have well-drained clay soil. I have converted much of the front yard from turf grass to beds of native plants, which survive our hot humid without supplemental watering e...
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