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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.

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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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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!

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Sunday - June 21, 2009

From: Pearl City, HI
Region: Hawaii
Topic: Turf
Title: Bermuda grass and St. Augustine for lawn in Hawaii
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is bermuda grass and st.augustine grass a good mixture for my backyard lawn?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would NOT recommend a blend of bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass for your Hawaiian back yard.   Neither grass is native to Hawaii and what we are all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is increasing "the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  We have several grasses native to Hawaii that we would like to recommend.  Natives have the advantage of using less water, being less susceptible to pests and diseases and are not likely to escape and become invasive.  The Board of Water Supply of the City and County of Honolulu has an Oahu Planting Guide that offers several native grasses as groundcovers.  Here are a few of the shorter, attractive grasses on that list:

Chrysopogon aciculatus (golden beard grass)

Eragrostis paupera (lovegrass)

Eragrostis variabilis (lovegrass)

Panicum fauriei (Carter's panic grass)

Sporobolus virginicus (beach dropseed)

Mr. Smarty Plants suggests you visit our National Suppliers Directory to look for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants as a source for the native grasses listed above.

 

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