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?

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

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
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

Planting Habiturf in Houston, TX>
March 08, 2012 - First, I want to say thank you for such an informative site. You say that the Buffalograsses tend to do well in drier and well drained soil. My house has a lawn that drops about 10 inches in about...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

How much shade will Thunder Turf (Habiturf) take?
March 20, 2016 - How much shade will Thunder Turf take?
view the full question and answer

Native grass for lawn in Round Rock, Texas
May 16, 2010 - I am interested in your recommendation for the grass at my home. I currently have St. Augustine but have become very aggravated by it. I am looking for a low maintenance grass that I can replace it wi...
view the full question and answer

Best grass for the shade in Austin, TX.
July 01, 2015 - What is the best grass seed for shade in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center