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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - April 29, 2009

From: Nash, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for chain link fenceline in Nash, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have chain link fence all the way around my yard and I am getting tired of having to weed eat along the fence line. I am looking for some type of year round decorative plant or grass (preferably one that grows to two feet tall or less) that I can plant along the fence to eliminate having to weed eat and will look good too. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Absolutely! That is a very good idea. If you have a lawn, probably what you are having to trim is a non-native turf grass like St. Augustine or bermudagrass. We would much prefer the use of native grasses, many of which are attractive and hold their places year-round. You may still have to yank out the non-natives from time to time to keep them from messing with the natives, but the natives will be taller and should eventually shade out the turf grasses. You didn't say if you had sun, part shade or shade in the area you want to cover, but we will go to Recommended Species,  select East Texas on the map, and find some lower native grasses that will thrive in Bowie County. You can follow the plant link to the webpage on each individual grass to read more about it, and for more information still go to the bottom of the webpage and click on the Google link to the plant. Some of these may be a little taller than 2 ft., but they can be trimmed back, and should be trimmed down to about 6 inches once a year, in early spring.

Grasses for Nash, Bowie County, TX

Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem) - perennial, 2 to 5 ft. tall, medium water use, part shade

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - perennial warm season grass, 2 to 3 ft. tall, medium water use, sun, part shade

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - perennial, 2 to 4 ft. tall, medium water use, part shade, shade

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) - perennial, 18 to 24 inches tall, low water use, sun, part shade

Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass) - perennial, 2 to 3 ft. tall, high water use, part shade


Andropogon virginicus

Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Schizachyrium scoparium

Tripsacum dactyloides

 

 

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