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 - 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

Growing Texas bluebonnets in North Carolina
March 11, 2008 - I live in North Carolina and love the Texas Bluebonnets. Can I create my own mix of soil to be able to grow them here? Soil is basically red clay and icky.
view the full question and answer

What is wrong with the bluebonnets?
April 04, 2008 - This doesn't seem to be a very good year for bluebonnets. What's up with that?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for an outdoor classroom in Bowling Green, Kentucky
February 07, 2009 - We would like to know what types of wildflowers could easily be grown in an outdoor classroom in Bowling Green, KY.
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for September wedding in Missouri
July 21, 2007 - I am interested in having wildflowers in my wedding in late September. Although the wedding is in the early fall I wanted to have dandelions but I was informed that they are not long lasting enough fo...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower garden with Castilleja indivisa (Indian paintbrush)
January 08, 2013 - I want to start a wildflower garden in my front/backyard. Specifically, I would like to include the indian paintbrush. What is the best way to go about this? Straight in the ground, containers, etc...
view the full question and answer

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