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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - July 01, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native grasses for bare shady spot in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My back yard is shady from old Arizona Ash trees. What native grasses can I plant in bare areas caused by my dog?

ANSWER:

The first thing we need to ask you is: Will the dog still be causing bare areas? We can recommend a number of really nice native grasses that will do well in the shade, and are low maintenance, but few of them are very tolerant of foot, er, paw traffic. So, we're going to give you two lists-one of the grasses, and one of lower, somewhat more traffic-tolerant, ground covers. Anything newly planted is going to need a chance to get established, so if the dog is still going to be working the same path, don't waste your time and money putting in new plants. You might consider, instead, paths of mulch, pine needles or even decomposed granite. It will still get scattered, but can be raked back into place.

GRASSES

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2 to 3 ft. tall

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) - 3 to 12 in. tall

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama) - 10 to 18 in. tall

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4 ft. tall

GROUND COVERS

Dichondra argentea (silver ponysfoot) - 3 to 4 in. tall

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy) - 6 go 12 in. tall

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - 8 to 12 in. tall

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) - high climbing or trailing vine


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Dichondra argentea

Calyptocarpus vialis

Callirhoe involucrata

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 

 

 

 

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