En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - August 03, 2008

From: Columbia, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Controlling sedge in vegetable garden in Mississippi
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a veg. garden surrounded by Purple Sedge. The nut grass has been contained/eliminated by replacing all dirt 1' down. Now the surrounding sedge is beginning to creep inward infesting the garden. Am thinking of putting bamboo-type rhizome barrier around garden, thereby stopping the march of the sedge and eliminating what remains in garden. Think it will work?

ANSWER:

You are one dedicated gardener. Hats off. Just replacing one foot of dirt to get ride of nutgrass deserves some kind of medal. We're not quite sure what a bamboo type rhizome barrier is, but apparently you know and know how to do it. We'd say go for it. We're not sure which sedge you're referring to, there was no sedge in our Native Plant Database characterized as "purple". However, on further searching we found a "purple sedge" referred to as Carex purpurifera, still not in our Database. Then, we learned that a synonym for that is Carex laxiflora (broad looseflower sedge). We checked the USDA Plant Profile and it is native to North America and to Mississippi. That's probably not germane to your question, but we always like to know what we're talking about. Obviously, you already know you need to block further encroachment of the sedge into your vegetables, including grubbing out what has already popped up. The underground barrier, however, is not the total solution. This plant propagates by seed, which means you probably should either mow or trim the grass when it is about to set seeds and be constantly vigilant for fresh seedlings popping up in the vegetables. Here is a page of images of Carex laxiflora.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Non-allergenic landscape in Fairfield, CT
April 18, 2009 - I live in Fairfield, CT and need to have a non-allergenic landscape. Can you please list plants, ground covers, and trees/shrubs that would be beautiful, and help in this critical situation? The lan...
view the full question and answer

Source for Saltmarsh cordgrass from Houston
April 16, 2013 - I work for a consulting firm and we are looking to do more of our wetland creation/restoration. Do you know where one can purchased Spartina alterniflora?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for landscaping backyard in Central Texas
January 02, 2008 - We are starting from scratch in our backyard (approx. 200'x60')in Central Texas (Cedar Park). The yard faces West. What do you recommend for plants, trees, shrubs and grass that are native and will ...
view the full question and answer

O.K. to grow grass under a live oak?
November 26, 2014 - Is it a bad idea to plant grass around a mature live oak? We have erosion issues and trying to keep mulch in the beds around the tree groves is a challenge, even with edging. Much of the native dirt...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a dry hillside in central Texas
March 07, 2010 - We need to plant some plants or grasses on a 3/4 acre sloaping hillside which does not get watered. Any recommendations for native grasses or plants which don't need care and will keep the lot from e...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center