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 - January 04, 2005

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Elimination of bermuda grass from St. Augustine lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, I am so frustrated with the bermuda grass mixed with St. Augustine grass. I have tried Ortho-B-gone but it did not work. Is there any measure to kill the Bermuda grass but not to harm St.Augustine grass? Secondly, is there any web site that show me what kind of plants and flowers can be legally planted in southeast Houston?

ANSWER:

The bad news is that bermuda grass is difficult to control and there is no chemical magic that will kill bermuda without harming the St. Augustine as well. One non-chemical measure you can take to encourage the St. Augustine and discourage the bermuda is to set your mower blade level to a high, e.g., 3 -3 1/2 inches. The taller growing St. Augustine will shade the bermuda and will then have an advantage over the bermuda grass which thrives best in the sun. There is an excellent article about St. Augustine grass written by Dr. Richard L. Duble, Turfgrass Specialist with the Texas Cooperative Extension. Dr. Duble offers some suggestions for control but he agrees that bermuda grass is very difficult to control in St. Augustine. If you have bermuda grass growing in your flower beds, there are chemical ways to control bermuda there without harming plants other than grasses. You can read what a local Houston gardener has to say about controlling bermuda grass.

At the top of the list of illegal plants for Texas is marijuana, (Cannabis sativa). Possession of any amount of this plant, processed or still growing, is punishable by a hefty fine and/or jail sentence--the larger the amount in possession, the greater the punishment! Texas law also lists thirteen illegal aquatic plants that carry a legal penalty for possession. You can download a PDF file about invasive species of Texas and see a list of plant species, as well as animal species, considered by the Union of Concerned Scientists to be invasives. These aren't all necessarily illegal but should be discouraged from cultivation.
 

More Turf Questions

How much shade will Thunder Turf (Habiturf) take?
March 20, 2016 - How much shade will Thunder Turf take?
view the full question and answer

Grassy "weed" invasion in Bermuda grass lawn
July 09, 2007 - Our grass is being totally overrun by this weed.(I don't know what the name is but I do know it's not the dandelion weed or the thin grassy weed). It is Bermuda grass and I really don't know how to...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for middle school lawn in AR.
November 03, 2010 - I'm doing a project to help out our green middle school replace the grass in front of the school with something that stays short but is also native to the region. Can you recommend one that I can use...
view the full question and answer

Seeding an established buffalograss lawn to make it denser
May 13, 2010 - We have 5400 sq ft of existing Buffalo grass and would like to know if spreading Buffalo grass SEED would help the existing get more full? I can't seem to find the seed here or the Austin area? And, ...
view the full question and answer

Compare Natives to Lawn for Carbon Footprint Benefits in Durham, New Hampshire
September 22, 2010 - Are there carbon sequestration rate tables for turf (lawn) and bushes, shrubs, trees? I want to compare the carbon footprint benefit of lawn versus the same area put into native plantings.
view the full question and answer

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