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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.

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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.

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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!

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Friday - July 25, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Turf
Title: Blocking stolons of St. Augustine grass
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have St. Augustine in my yard, and I am sick of edging the stolons that grow onto the sidewalk and driveway. Is there any way to stop the stolons or block them so that I can just mow and throw away my edger forever? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Apparently not. It sounds like a great idea though, training the stolons to stop at a designated spot. After all, you know that they can't grow in concrete, but try and convince the grass of that. Before you believe one of those ads about "spray-on" edging, remember that it is a plant poison that can kill a whole lot of grass just because you've sprayed it on runners. And the drift from the spray can kill a whole lot of other stuff. We guess the question is: How tolerant of a little untidiness are you? As we pointed out, the runners will only go so far and give up, because there is no dirt under them, and hopefully they're not being watered, either. If you're going to grow turf grasses, you're going to have to learn to live with their habits, because they're not going to change those habits to suit you.

 

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