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 Seeds and Seeding Questions

When to reseed wildflowers in a drought year?
October 18, 2011 - My acreage with extensive wildflowers was mowed in 2010 before annuals had seeded. Only a few returned this year. Considering the predicted lonterm drought should I postpone reseeding this fall?
view the full question and answer

Source for seed of Blackfoot Daisy from Amarillo TX
October 29, 2011 - I need help finding Melampodium leucanthum seed. I have spent the last few hours on the web searching for them. I checked the resources in your lists and cannot find seed. I live in Potter Coun...
view the full question and answer

Why so many Sugar Hackberry seedlings in my back yard in The Woodlands, TX?
May 25, 2013 - Why do I have so many Sugar Hackberry seedlings (Celtis Laevigata) sprouting up naturally in my back yard? There are a few Winged Elms in my neighborhood, but no Sugar Hackberry trees that I know of....
view the full question and answer

Should I transplant my bluebonnets from the planter they came into soil in Austin?
April 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Since moving to Austin two years ago I have fallen in love with bluebonnets. Last year I purchased seedlings from the Wildflower Center but a taste-first-evaluate-later inquis...
view the full question and answer

How to germinate seed for Styrax grandifolius
October 18, 2014 - How do I germinate seed for the Styrax grandifolius?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center