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

Tuesday - June 30, 2009

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Seeding wildflowers in Dallas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to establish seed for wildflowers in Dallas, TX? The area does get some irrigation from rotors. Would hydromulch be the most effective option?

ANSWER:

First, let me refer you to our page of How To Articles.  At the bottom of that page under LARGE SCALE WILDFLOWER PLANTING are several articles that apply to your question.  In particular, "Getting Started" suggests using a grain drill or a hand-carried mechanical seeder to sow the seeds. It may be possible that you can rent such equipment from a local nursery or farm supply store.

The "Meadow Gardening" article suggests that you add native grasses to your wildflower mix because:

"They provide support and protection for tall flowers.  They fill in spaces around wildflowers otherwise occupied by weeds.  They add color and texture to the landscape.  They prevent soil erosion.  They provide food and cover for wildlife."

"Meadow Gardening" also gives you tips about preparing the soil and what to expect for your field of wildflowers after the first, second, third years and beyond. 

In the answer to a previous question about seeding large areas with grasses, our Director of Landscape Restoration, Steve Windhager said:

"Hydromulching is a bad idea. The tactifier in hydromulch is actually hydrophobic (repels water) when it gets dry. As a result, most native seeds die when they are applied with hydromulch. Native American Seed has spread seed by hand and then sprayed on a "clean" hydromulch mix (no seed) for erosion control and they say that they have had good results. We are now recommending pneumatically applied compost for seed applications that would have formerly used hydromulch. It works GREAT, although you may have some leaching of nutrients (nitrate and phosphate) out of the compost with any run off, so you don't want to do this near a creek or river at this point."

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Flowers for sandy loam and sun in Fayette Co., Texas
May 15, 2007 - Hi I am looking to know what the best flowers are to plant in sandy loam and no shade?
view the full question and answer

Yellow Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa
May 09, 2005 - Does entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, come in yellow in the wild? I have Indian paintbrush in the front pasture and noticed last weekend that there were 5 or 6 that were light yellow...
view the full question and answer

Meadow garden for Colorado Springs CO
June 03, 2012 - We recently purchased a restored home on a mesa just above the downtown area of Colorado Springs on the front range. The previous owners seeded the front lawn with blue gramma and told me that all I ...
view the full question and answer

Will native plants become invasive from Grapevine TX
February 23, 2013 - Main Question - I want to convert my front and back yards into a native plant sanctuary but worry about if these plants growing out of control/invasive and if neighbors will complain about these "wee...
view the full question and answer

Goldenrod recommendations for Buda, TX
January 22, 2011 - I am looking for a Solidago species Goldenrod that is non-invasive and suited to the area around Austin/ Buda, TX. I prefer to use a native, non-hybrid, especially since I am adjacent to a wild area. ...
view the full question and answer

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