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

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

Planting Suggestions for a Lake Home in Wayne County, MO
April 03, 2014 - We have a lake home in Wayne County, MO at Lake Wappapello. The soil is very rocky. We recently cleared an area around our home of assorted dead trees, some cedars and what seemed like tons of vines. ...
view the full question and answer

Alternatives to Lily of the Valley in Arkansas
March 08, 2011 - I saw the question from the person who was looking for a native equivalent to Lily of the Valley and immediately thought of Solomon's Seal, which has similar bells on a stalk and grows in similar loc...
view the full question and answer

Native Equivalents to Lily of the Valley
February 24, 2011 - Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majuscula) with its delicate drooping flowers is my favorite flower. Unfortunately, it's hard to get in central Texas as a cut flower, much less to grow. Are...
view the full question and answer

Define monoculture from St. Croix Falls, WI
May 30, 2014 - What do you call a dense stand or carpet of one species of wildflower? Our botany professor told us but that was 40 years ago!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on daylilies
July 29, 2003 - I have a number of Daylilies that are rapidly multiplying in my flower bed. If I relocate some of them to the field behind my house, will they crowd out the native wildflowers?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center