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
1 rating

Wednesday - August 19, 2009

From: Mason, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a lot of. Any insight you have..will this area work for buffalograss and/or do I need to bring in a significant amount of topsoil/compost in order for it to thrive? Thanks in advance!

ANSWER:

Did you know that Hilda TX is referred to as a "ghost town" when you Google for it? It's okay, we don't discriminate, even ghosts can grow native plants.

First, we would like to suggest that you read our How-To Article Native Lawns: Buffalograss.  We checked Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) on the USDA Plant Profile, and found that Mason County is right in the middle of a very good area for the grass to grow. If it is already native to the area, you don't have to worry about the soils being okay or there being enough rain. Well, okay, maybe you need to worry about the rain, but it is a drought tolerant grass that will brown when it gets too dry, and then come back to green when the rains come. Because our How-To Article says that buffalograss "does not thrive" in sandy soil, you might follow their suggestion of tilling the soil before you plant, and tilling in some compost or top soil.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
January 15, 2009 - I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
view the full question and answer

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen pet-safe shrubs for house and screening in McKinney TX
April 15, 2010 - Looking for shrub, preferably evergreen, to plant near the house that can handle wet ground and is pet (dog, cat, horse) safe. The area became boggy after we had an underground water leak that is now ...
view the full question and answer

Is cement leaching into flower beds in Colorado Springs?
May 16, 2009 - I have posed this question to a number of garden centers in our area around Colorado Springs--only to rec. a repeated--"Gee, I don't know." When we moved to our new home there was a rock concrete ...
view the full question and answer

Potting soil used in Wildflower Center nursery
October 23, 2008 - I recently purchased several beautiful little plants at your Fall plant sale and notice how very happy and healthy they all are! Please tell me if you mix your own potting soil and what your potting ...
view the full question and answer

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