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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - January 31, 2009

From: Cedar Creek, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Short native turf grass for Texas lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like a native grass mix that doesn't get too tall. It is mostly sun with afternoon shade. Mowing wouldn't be a problem, but not necessary. The soil is pretty good but shallow.I hate the bermuda grass and with the drought we have no grass. It can be protected from foot traffic for as long as needed. All mixes have bluestems that are too tall and coarse for this area. It's my front yard or whats left of it.I've removed all the existing grass and have made large flower and shrub beds. This is a small area that I'd like to be restive after all the other plantings around it.

ANSWER:

Please go to the web site of Native American Seed in Junction Texas and see their Native Sun Turfgrass mix, a combination of 66% Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) and 34%  Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama).  Both of these grasses have a maximum height of less than a foot, require little water and need little or no mowing.  Both grasses do best in full sun, but it sounds like you might have enough sun to make them happy.  Also, on the Native American Seed site, check out their Planting Tips for Native Grasses and on our Wildflower Center site, please read Native Lawns:  Buffalograss.  If you find that the shadier areas of your lawn aren't doing as well you would like, you could consider putting sedges there.  Here are two possibilities that grow less than a foot high and are evergreen:

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge) grows in part shade.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) grows in sun and part shade.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Carex planostachys

Carex texensis

 

 

 

 

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

Difficult lawn redo in Austin, TX area.
April 01, 2010 - In Oak Hill section of Austin and our 2 year old house had St Augustine dumped atop the raped soil. After the drought of 09 it is all dead. We have most of our large yard native but need grass aroun...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
October 16, 2011 - We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
view the full question and answer

Acre-scale Grass Removal near Austin, TX
July 04, 2014 - How do I get rid of 10 acres of Kleingrass?
view the full question and answer

Small perennials & grasses for a naturalized lawn
October 26, 2009 - I am looking for native perennials and grasses that will grow no more than 8 inches tall that can be used in a naturalized lawn in Michigan. What 5 plants would be your first choice?
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