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

Patenting Flower Mixes
July 12, 2012 - Can a new, more beautiful combination/mix of certain wild flowers or the new use of some particular wild flowers for a particular style of gardening, e.g. for deer resistance or for alternative lawn o...
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

Taking plants to Alaska
August 31, 2011 - I am moving from California to Alaska, can I take live plants?
view the full question and answer

Are drought-tolerant landscape plantings protected by Texas law?
November 26, 2012 - I was told that Texas has a law in regards to drought tolerant natives and Homeowners Associations. Do you know what it states and how one can find a copy of it? I got a notice from my HOA saying ...
view the full question and answer

Avoiding cutting field of wildflowers in Pearland, TX
October 24, 2008 - How does one get a "wildflower pass" to avoid having to cut a GORGEOUS field of native flowers? Our church in Pearland has a couple of acres that we are required to keep cut, but it's currently aw...
view the full question and answer

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