Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Is cement leaching into flower beds in Colorado Springs?
May 16, 2009 - I have posed this question to a number of garden centers in our area around Colorado Springs--only to rec. a repeated--"Gee, I don't know." When we moved to our new home there was a rock concrete ...
view the full question and answer

Amendments for faster-growing trees from Bulverde TX
July 04, 2010 - What faster growing trees will grow in black gumbo clay that is about 12 inches deep above caliche rock in full sun with a sprinkler system set on 1 inch/week? How many and how much amendments such...
view the full question and answer

Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
October 11, 2010 - When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen
view the full question and answer

Plants for bioswale in Vero Beach FL
September 28, 2009 - Can you recommend plantings for bioswales located in Volusia County area of Florida?
view the full question and answer

Duplicate of English holly for Eufaula OK
January 03, 2010 - I wish to have a shrub that would duplicate the red berries and foliage of English holly. Tolerance of cultivation is also desired.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.