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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - February 19, 2009

From: Smyrna, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Turf
Title: Lawn Grass for North Georgia
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

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 wet. I live in the Atlanta area. I can probably spend one day a week working on the yard. I just want a pretty green yard and I know it is going to take some work. Please help.

ANSWER:

Most lawn grasses used in the US are non-native in origin.  Since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center focuses solely on North American native plants, Mr. Smarty Plants may not be able to give you specific recommendations, though we will help as we can.  We know of no lawn grasses native to where you are located in North Georgia.  The most commonly used native lawn grass in the US is Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), a native of the Great Plains and it is not really well-suited to Georgia.  The native range of another grass, Creeping Red Fescue goes as far south as South Carolina but not into Georgia.  However, it may be well-enough adapted to use there.

We highly recommend contacting the Cobb County Extension Service agent for information on lawn choices and care.  Your county agent has a wealth of information at his disposal which you will find useful.

Finally, consider replacing some or all of your turf - it is tremendously costly in terms of water, fertilizer and maintenance expended - and replace the grass with native landscaping.

 

More Turf Questions

Need help with lawn that was sodded with Buffalo Grass in Dallas, TX.
March 20, 2012 - I had buffalo sod put down last March. It greened up beautifully until weeds just about covered it up. I tried hand pulling. My landscaper showed up with something that appeared to damage the buffa...
view the full question and answer

Replacement of lawn with native grasses in Maryland
August 31, 2007 - I live in west central Maryland within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. My soil is heavy clay and nutrient deficient. I have/am planting native flower beds and a vegetable garden in an effort to reduce...
view the full question and answer

Native grass for shaded lawn in Austin
May 14, 2010 - Hello, I've read all your info on the native lawns and came by the center on Sunday. We live in Circle C and want to plant a lawn in our backyard. We don't want something that needs a lot of wate...
view the full question and answer

Turf grass for a sandy site in central Texas
February 16, 2015 - I want to plant grass over an old sand volleyball court in our back yard in Bastrop, Texas. What is the best way to go? Adding top soil and buffalo grass seed or try St. Augustine?
view the full question and answer

Calyptocarpus vialis, Horseherb, for shady, mowable lawn
April 06, 2007 - Graham, Texas, Heavily wooded. Too shady for St. Augustine grass. Need mowable ground cover near house. Have heard of something called horsewort, but not able to find anything about it.
view the full question and answer

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