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?


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
12 ratings

Thursday - August 21, 2008

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Watering grass, before or after cutting it
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Should I water my grass before or after cutting it, after it has not been watered in a few days along with dry times?


Both the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program and Ohio State Extension Master Gardener agree that it is better to mow grass when it is dry, but the only reason seems to be that the cut grass blades tend to stick together when they are wet and leave clumps of unsightly grass piles on your lawn. If the piles are too dense, they could damage the grass underneath them unless they are removed. Otherwise, cutting the grass when it's wet won't hurt it. In fact, if your grass needs cutting and it is wet, it's better to go ahead and cut it rather than let it grow too high. Both sites listed above recommend not cutting more than 1/3 the length of the grass when it is mowed. They recommend a height of 2 to 3 inches for the lawn so if you are using a two-inch cutting length, you should cut your grass when it is no more than 3 inches high. The bottom line is—if your grass is growing too high and it's wet, cut it!



More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Will Habiturf work in Houston?
January 20, 2012 - I am looking to plant the parking strip between the sidewalk and street - about 6-7 feet wide. Would Habiturf work in Houston. The webside lists areas of Texas, but wasn't sure if Houston was incl...
view the full question and answer

Strip Groundcover for Austin, TX
February 19, 2015 - I live in a condo in Austin (near N Lamar and North Loop), and am on the HOA board. There is a small strip of land along the back of the units, used mostly for access for maintenance - it ranges from ...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for horses in Manor, TX
January 20, 2011 - Hi, Can you tell me which native grasses to plant that would grow (and be drought tolerant) in the Manor area. The area we would like to plant seeds has some sun and part shade. There appear to be so...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow between patio pavers
March 15, 2013 - We'd like to use poured concrete pavers for a deck. What grows well, whether it be grass or other, between these. We'll have 4-6" between 4 foot pavers. And would love to find something that does...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a steep slope in New York
June 27, 2010 - We just installed a swimming pool in our back yard, which is at the top of a south facing slope. After the pool was installed the slope is now 3 ft higher and very steep (unmowable). I'd guess steepe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center