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

Wednesday - November 12, 2008

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Native grass for Round Rock, Texas lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I just moved into a new place and the grass in the back yard is very spotty. I would like to know the best seed to put down to cure this problem. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is assuming you want grass or grass-like plants for your yard.  First of all, we recommend that you read one of our How To Articles, Native Lawns.  The best native turf grasses for your area are Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) and Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama).  Both these grasses prefer growing in the sun, however, they will tolerate growing in very light shade.  Both require little mowing and very little water.  Native American Seed in Junction, Texas has a mixture of the two called Native Sun Turfgrass.  You can also read their Planting Tips for Native GrassesMuhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) is another of the shorter grasses that could be used as a turf grass in shady areas, but you could also consider sedges there, e.g., Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)—sun, part shade, shade; Carex texensis (Texas sedge)—sun, part shade; and Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)part shadeCarex perdentata (sand sedge) prefers growing in full sun.  For more information about sedges for lawns you can read Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape by John Greenlee.

If you would like a low ground cover instead of grasses, you could consider Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy) and Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit), both which grow less than 6 inches high, never need mowing and both will grow in sun and part shade.


Bouteloua dactyloides


Bouteloua gracilis

Muhlenbergia schreberi

Carex blanda

Carex texensis

Carex planostachys

Carex perdentata

Calyptocarpus vialis

Phyla nodiflora

 

 

More Turf Questions

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and buffalo grass mixes
October 05, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX and have visited the Wildflower Center in the past and enjoyed the display of native grass mixes. Can you tell me about the variations of buffalograss mixes... which ones are most...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native lawn grasses in an HOA in Kyle TX
March 27, 2009 - We just rounded out our first year with our first lawn here in Central Texas. I was stingy with the water and needless to say our non-native, Bermuda grass and St. Augustine lawn did not fare well. Id...
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
view the full question and answer

Lawn Grass for North Georgia
February 19, 2009 - I would like to know which type of grass would be best to plant in my yard? I have two dogs so there is a lot of traffic. The yard is on a slope so some of it stays dry while the rest is almost always...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center