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
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

Shade plants to replace a lawn in PA
June 01, 2011 - Our neighborhood is built into a hill and our backyard is along the slope. We cannot keep grass in the area (except for a few clumps). The area is mostly shaded and moist-dry however when rain comes t...
view the full question and answer

Mowing the multi-species buffalo grass lawn
June 23, 2011 - I am planning on putting in a buffalo grass lawn in an area that is little used. I read that a mix of buffalo, blue grama, and curly mesquite is good for better cover but I am concerned about the blu...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating bluebonnets from lawn
December 05, 2009 - I need to know the best way to eliminate bluebonnets which are growing in my yard. My HOA is pursuing legal action against me to prevent me growing the plants. I can't afford to "resod" my yard. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Grass for sunny Texas lawn
February 28, 2009 - We lost our front yard(bermuda) last summer/fall due to grubs(we think). When and what type of grass seed do we do this spring to plant a new yard? We can't afford to lay sod. It's mostly sunny. We ...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Arlington, VA.
September 10, 2015 - Hi, could you please provide me with a recommendation for a native turf grass to plant in a large commercial area in Arlington, Virginia. Currently Kentucky 31 is being used, but we would like to iden...
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