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

Will Thunder Turf do well in shade from Iola TX
June 23, 2010 - Will the Thunder Turf do well in shady areas or is there a better blend of native grasses that would thrive better?
view the full question and answer

Blocking stolons of St. Augustine grass
July 25, 2008 - I have St. Augustine in my yard, and I am sick of edging the stolons that grow onto the sidewalk and driveway. Is there any way to stop the stolons or block them so that I can just mow and throw away ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Environmentally friendly and drought resistant alternatives to St. Augustine grass
September 28, 2006 - As a member of the planning committee of our property owners association in Wimberley TX, we are researching ways to make our landscape environmentally friendly and drought resistant. We have 60,000 ...
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

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