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

Monday - February 18, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch
Title: Instructions for composting in southeast Texas
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do you ever offer composting classes? I live in Houston and would like to start composting in my backyard... are there any particular books you would recommend for composting in SE TX? Thank you!

ANSWER:

While our workshop series focuses on basic horticultural knowledge, we have yet to tackle an entire class involved with composting; and, believe me, there is a science AND art to composting successfully. However, you should have the tools and resources close to home available to you. I recommend contacting your local Harris County Cooperative Extension agent's office. There is a strong presence of the Master Gardener's (a program supported by the Texas Cooperative Extension Agency) in your county, so definitely hook up with them.

We would also like to recommend a few Internet sites with information about composting:

1. The City of Austin has simple, straightforward instructions for getting started with composting.

2. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service also has a very informative site.

3. There is a very interesting discussion on composting by Journey to Forever.

4. Finally, if you want to know about The Science and Engineering of Composting, Cornell University has a thorough discussion.

For print sources, here are a couple of books recommended by members of our Mr. Smarty Plants group:

Secrets to Great Soil by Elizabeth Stell

Let it Rot! The Gardener's Guide to Composting by Stu Campbell

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Overwatering Texas Mountain Laurel from Rosanky TX
June 06, 2012 - I just read your article in the Statesman about over watering Mt.Laurel. Now I know why my lovely 15 year old tree is dying. We put in new grass this winter and I watered too much. Is there any hop...
view the full question and answer

Shelf life of hawthorn leaves in Florissant, MO
April 30, 2009 - I have a bag of hawthorn leaves that were harvested in 2007. Do you know if they're still effective? How long is the shelf life of hawthorn leaves? Thank you for your assistance.
view the full question and answer

Potting soil used in Wildflower Center nursery
October 23, 2008 - I recently purchased several beautiful little plants at your Fall plant sale and notice how very happy and healthy they all are! Please tell me if you mix your own potting soil and what your potting ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pavilion over fountain in Washington State
December 26, 2008 - I have a tall fountain in a 7 foot square which is surrounded by pavers. Inside the 7' square there is about a 2' mulched soil bed around the center fountain and an iron type pavilion that goes up h...
view the full question and answer

Few blooms on native Bignonia capriolata (cross-vine)
March 25, 2008 - I have an 8-year-old crossvine that has grown and bloomed beautifully until this year. During the winter it lost all of its lower leaves. What leaves were left had brownish-red splotches on them. It h...
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