Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Removal of chickweed from lawns
April 06, 2007 - How do I get Cerastium arvense L. - field chickweed out of my lawn? How can I kill them without hurting my grass? I don't have a clue as to how they got into my lawn, but my lawn is the only one on...
view the full question and answer

Mixture of native grasses as opposed to buffalo grass monoculture
November 26, 2003 - My husband and I just built our home on Lake Travis. Our lot is very rocky and is on the side of a hill. We would like to plant something on the incline at the front of our home that doesn't need a l...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant turf for Southern California
April 23, 2015 - Is it possible to grow Habiturf in Riverside, California, in the area of UC Riverside? The climate is similar to the desert areas or Arizona, just slightly cooler in the Summer. If not, is there a d...
view the full question and answer

Roots of live oak in lawn from Round Rock TX
June 24, 2011 - I live on a cul-de-sac and have a small triangle shape yard. There is a large live oak in the middle of the yard. I am concerned because large bark covered roots have emerged on two sides of the tre...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.