En Español

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
1 rating

Saturday - June 07, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don't want to use chemicals but also don't want to lose the buffalo grass. Thanks!

ANSWER:

The City of Austin has an excellent "Earth-wise Guide to Lawn Problems" that presents several common lawn problems with descriptions, photographs, tests for causes, and solutions. You can test your buffalo grass lawn to determine if it is being affected by grubs. The recommended treatment (non-chemical) is the application of beneficial nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae) that will attack and kill the grubs.

There is another possibility for yellowing buffalograss, according to an article (Buffalograss Lawns, by A. J. Koski from Colorado State University):

"Buffalograss is sometimes prone to iron chlorosis (yellowing) on high pH soils; supplemental applications of iron chelate (Fe EDDHA, sequestrene iron) will help to cure or prevent this problem."

The "Earth-wise Guide to Lawn Problems" lists this as a problem affecting St. Augustine and suggests preventive treatment (e.g., top dressing with 1/4-1/3" compost, not using fertilizers high in phosphorus, and aerating the lawn once a year). The Guide also suggests iron supplements for temporary relief.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for horses
September 20, 2009 - I have 7ac with big and little bluestem. I'm told big is bad. And my horse eats ground veg and not the bluestem. So I'd love to replant the entire tract with something for the horse, deer, and nativ...
view the full question and answer

Restoring riverfront from Blanco Flood
October 04, 2015 - We have cleared our riverfront from the Blanco Flood and I am now looking for help in replanting native trees/grass on our property. Our home was in the Flood of Hayes county Memorial Weekend. I am ...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for shade grass in El Paso TX
April 05, 2013 - We currently have a Honey Mesquite tree with thinning bermuda grass underneath in our front yard. I suspect that the filtered shade is killing the bermuda. I was thinking of planting Buffalo Grass, or...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a pool fence in Ohio
October 28, 2010 - I live in Ohio and have a pool with a white vinyl fence. Each year I plant sunflowers around it, but they are so messy when the birds/bees find them. Previously I planted castor beans, however, they...
view the full question and answer

New gardener on lawn for Poolville TX
April 28, 2012 - I have never had the opportunity to have a nice yard until recently when I got married. My husband loves a nice yard and we have worked very hard and put in hours of work. We are learning by trial a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center