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

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

Will Bermuda grass crowd out natives
September 12, 2008 - i have a new office bldg on an acre lot in cedar park. the city requires complete ground cover within a few months so bermuda was sprayed much to my dismay..the area along the front towards the road ...
view the full question and answer

Container plant to grow in late afternoon sun
July 02, 2011 - I have a shaded brick walkway that leads to my front door. It faces west, and can get very hot late afternoon Houston sun, although it is shaded for the remainder of the day. I have been successful ...
view the full question and answer

Should Rock Harlequin stay green all winter?
May 28, 2014 - I have a rock harlequin that came up in a area that had been disturbed. It came up last summer/fall and the foliage survived our tough winter. I can not find anything about this plant staying green al...
view the full question and answer

Summer-blooming Wildflowers for Wichita Falls, TX
June 08, 2013 - Can you give me a list of some summer-blooming (June, July, August, maybe September) wildflowers that I can plant in my flower beds in Wichita Falls, TX and tell me when the best time is to sow the se...
view the full question and answer

Will wildflowers still be blooming end of March from Austin
November 20, 2009 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants - A wildflower enthusiast from Rome Italy wants to schedule a special visit to Austin end March early April 2010. Can she be sure wildflowers will still be blooming then?
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