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

Sunday - March 01, 2009

From: Gilmer, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for Gilmer TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to get some native grasses growing on our farm that are good for wildlife - barnyard grass - sedges - smartweed - have read and heard that all I need to do is disc and fertilize - yes/no - need advice.

ANSWER:

It sounds like what you are considering is restoration of the natural prairie. Happily, we have an excellent How-To article, Recreating a Prairie, that explains that process and was written by experts who know much more about it than we do. This article answers questions about planting times, soil preparation, and has a list of suggested grasses, all of which would be appropriate for East Texas, with pictures.

We would also suggest you visit the online site of Native American Seeds in Junction, Texas, especially their section on grass mixes. Take a look at the Prairie Starter Mix and the Blackland Prairie Mix. Of course, you don't have to go to that specific vendor, but we can tell you that they have a terrific store of information and advice to offer you on seeds and seeding. And you can make your own selection of plants to grow, buying the individual seeds for each plant, but we think for your purpose a mix made specifically for your purpose would be more efficient. They can tell you how much to buy for an area, when to plant, and so forth. 

However you choose to go, we applaud your idea, and we're sure the birds, butterflies and small mammals in your area will do the same.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Effect of heavy rains on Lindheimer Muhly
May 04, 2015 - It is April 2015, in San Antonio we've had very heavy rains recently. My Lindheimer muhly, which was looking beautiful, has now turned brown all over. Is this normal or is this a problem?
view the full question and answer

New gardener on lawn for Poolville TX
April 28, 2012 - I have never had the opportunity to have a nice yard until recently when I got married. My husband loves a nice yard and we have worked very hard and put in hours of work. We are learning by trial a...
view the full question and answer

How much water does St. Augustine require in Junction, TX?
February 12, 2012 - Can you point me towards a concrete study on how much water St Augustine requires to survive? Much appreciated - Native American Seed
view the full question and answer

Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
September 06, 2013 - I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to control erosion in Montgomery County, Texas
February 24, 2014 - I am looking for some kind of ground cover to control erosion on a north facing slope in Montgomery County, Texas. The area gets very little direct sunlight. I need something that will establish quick...
view the full question and answer

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