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

Tuesday - November 09, 2004

From: Brenham, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Laws
Title: Optimum mowing times for wildflower garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Washington County and have 4 acres that contain both an abundance of spring wildflowers and native grasses (silver and little bluestem, Texas grama). The homeowners restrictions require that I keep it mowed after the flowers bloom and set seed in late June. If I can get them to agree to a 4 times/year mowing what other 3 months would be the best to assure both the flowers (always popular) and the native grasses (not popular here) can survive?

ANSWER:

After your late June mowing when at least 1/2 of your late blooming species have dropped their seeds, you should not mow again until the seeds of the warm season native grasses have dropped. This should be late summer or early fall. You should set your mower blade to leave at least 6 inches of grass stalks above the ground. After this mowing, significant growth is not likely to occur until early spring, but you could schedule two more "high" mowings (if they are absolutely necessary to satisfy the homeowners restrictions) during the winter months before the wildflowers and native grasses have grown enough to be harmed. On the Wildflower Center web page in the Native Plant Library you can find a 3-page article, "Meadow Gardening" (that you can download as a PDF file) that addresses the creation and maintenance of wildflower meadows.
 

More Plant Laws Questions

Sample city ordinances to incorporate into city code
February 13, 2007 - I am looking for a source of sample city ordinances that will allow wildflowers such that we can incorporate it into our city code. My city is rural and per its master visionplan was originally publi...
view the full question and answer

Neighborhood association wanting wildflowers mowed from Grand Prairie TX
July 14, 2013 - For at least 15 years, I have been fostering growth of wildflowers in 60% of my 90x400' yard which include 150' utility trunkline easement in which I can plant no trees. This year, we had volunteer ...
view the full question and answer

Drought Resistant Privacy Screen for North Side of Austin Texas House
July 10, 2016 - We live in the densely populated Mueller development, where there's barely 3 feet from our home to the 6 foot high privacy fence between us and the house next door. Since the houses are 2 stories, we ...
view the full question and answer

Regulations for transporting plants to Texas from Florida
July 29, 2008 - We are relocating to TX from FL, I have a collection of potted palm trees and quite a few potted tropical plants (none are invasive)that I would like to bring with us, we will be traveling by car and ...
view the full question and answer

Regulations on picking native plants and flowers on Government or National Park lands
November 18, 2005 - I was wondering what the laws and regulations on picking native plants and flowers on BLM land and NPS land are, and where I can find this information.
view the full question and answer

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