En Español

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 - May 12, 2005

From: Bellville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: When to mow bluebonnets
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have approx. 2 acres on the side and front of my house in Austin County. When can I mow the remaining high grass and not disturb the natural renewal? Also, I plan to purchase more bluebonnet seed and other wildflower seed that may be appropriate for this spot. The flowers were too sparse this year (my first season here). There is a gradual slope (15) and sandy soil, but at the very front where the road is, it doesn't dry out too well. My main goal is bluebonnets, but I also would like some yellow flowers, etc. When do you plant, and can I broadcast with my garden tractor?

ANSWER:

You need to wait to mow the grasses and flowers you want to preserve until at least 1/2 of the seeds have set and dropped. Visit the Native Plant Library on our web page to see several articles that will help you in your project; for instance, "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting". These are 1- or 2-page PDF formatted articles that you can download. Both have very useful information for your project. Fall is probably the best time to sow native seeds and the best way to sow the seeds is with a hand-held mechanical seeder. However, nothing says you can't ride on your garden tractor while doing the seeding with your hand-held mechanical seeder. Finally, you can find sources for seeds of native plants in Texas by visiting the Suppliers Directory and selecting "Seed Companies" and then choosing "Texas" for "State or Province". In Texas. both Native American Seed in Junction and Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg have large number of varieties of native wildflower seeds and grasses for sale over the internet.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Preparation of site for wildflowers in Missouri
December 04, 2008 - I have 1/2 lb of wildflower seed I would like to plant in the next couple days. the directions say to rid site of all weeds, do you have a suggestion of how to rid my site of thistle? Sow and canadian...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 19, 2007 - Are pink bluebonnets still considered very rare? I discovered several growing amongst normal blues on the National Instruments corporate campus here in Austin. I wasn't sure if the Wildflower Cente...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting bluebonnets in late Fall from Georgetown TX
November 08, 2013 - Transplanting bluebonnets in October? Neighbor wants to share abundance of rosettes and good size plants- any suggestions or warnings? Will freeze/frost protection be needed if we get December freeze...
view the full question and answer

Orientation of roots of Ranunculus
April 11, 2006 - I need to know how to plant "Ranunculus". I don't know which way to put the rhizomes/bulbs in the ground. Do they go flat side down or strange long tubular things upward ?
view the full question and answer

Late Blooming Wildflowers for Round Rock
August 06, 2014 - I thought this would be a previously answered question but found nothing in the data base. My question is: in Central Texas what can be grown for some color or interest in a wildflower area when the w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center