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

Wednesday - April 29, 2009

From: Possum Kingdom Lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding
Title: When is the best time to plant or seed after a wildfire?
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

This past week our 1 acre lake property at Possum Kingdom Lake in north Texas was scorched by a wildfire. No brush, grass or bushes remain, and we're hoping not to lose all the cedar and mesquite trees. We would like to take the opportunity to plant some drought resistant native grasses and plants that require little water. Is there a recommended method and/or timing to planting or seeding after a complete burn? The fire was very hot (it burned 4 neighbors' houses to the ground) and except for the black trees our acreage is as bare as the moon. Thanks for the response from a UT alumn!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants spoke with one of our restoration ecologists here at the Wildflower Center and he said that the best time to plant or seed native plants after a wildfire is right now - while we are getting spring rains.  As the rains decrease and the heat increases, anything you plant will have a harder time becoming established and making it through the summer without regular watering.  If you can't plant right  now, you can wait until Fall (generally, the best time to plant and seed in Texas).  By then, you may find that some native plants have taken their natural place without any help from you.  Our advice is to plant and seed what you can as soon as possible and then again in the Fall.  Take a look at our Recommended Species page for plants that are native to North Central Texas.  You can narrow your search by choosing the type of plant you are looking for (grass, shrub, tree, herb), growing conditions (moisture level and amount of sun), duration and even bloom characteristics.

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Why all the acorns from Austin
November 03, 2010 - What's the explanation for the huge crop of acorns falling from my live oak trees this fall. Do you recommend I dump them in my composter or just throw them in the flower beds? Thanking you in adv...
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
July 01, 2009 - Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on seed harvesting
August 09, 2004 - I am interested in learning more about harvesting native seeds. I manage a number of sites where restoration projects will involve planting, and we would like to use native seed stocks. Could you te...
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion with grasses in Dallas, TX
October 19, 2013 - After consulting with several geological engineers and the city of Dallas engineers - we know that our severe erosion problem can only be fixed by building a 35' foot high gabion wall about 150' in ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center