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

Finding Connecticut grasses on website from NY City
January 28, 2012 - Your site w/ all its varied aids are great, and your answers are so helpful, so I don't want to seem critical with this question. I trained as a landscape architect in the Northeast 20 years ago a...
view the full question and answer

New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
October 27, 2009 - While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses an...
view the full question and answer

Drought-Tolerant Plants for Arizona
July 16, 2015 - Slowly turning south-facing lawn to drought-tolerant plantings with gravel paths. Mature Ponderosa and several blue spruce and junipers surround area. Grass area I'm converting with a few larger tr...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping on South Padre Island
June 07, 2008 - I'm in charge of landscaping at my beachfront condo in South Padre Island and find the wind, salt air, and heat challenging for growing almost anything. We would like to incorporate native plants, b...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Cherokee sedge in Spicewood, TX
May 18, 2009 - I have several Cherokee sedges, just planted in March. Three of them are doing fine, but the rest look like they're dying. Some are right next to one that is doing great. Any ideas?
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