En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Grass in mixed wildflowers in Gloucester VA

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

Wednesday - September 02, 2009

From: Gloucester, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Grass in mixed wildflowers in Gloucester VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a acre of mixed wildflowers which is in its 3rd season. I now have some grass issues. I have sprayed for just the grass but still have too much. Should I bush hog, disk and replant ??

ANSWER:

Grasses appearing in wildflowers is a natural progression. If you felt you had to spray an herbicide, we hope you sprayed an herbicide for monocots, or grasses. If you sprayed a wide spectrum herbicide, you may have wiped out your wildflowers, too. Without knowing what grasses you have, we can still bet they are as native to your area as the wildflowers are, and will certainly prosper there. If you manage to exterminate the grasses, they will come back, from wind blown or bird borne seeds. If you have grasses you feel are non-native or overly invasive, pull them out or mow them before they go to seed. We have two How-To Articles we would like for you to read to help you understand our approach to wildflower gardening. The first is Meadow Gardening and the second is Recreating a Prairie.

Consider this, when your wildflowers are dormant or have died after seeding, what is your property full of? Is there anything there to hold off erosion, to give forage and protection to wildlife, like birds and butterflies?  If you want to choose your own grasses, you can go to our Native Plant Database, go down the page to Combination Search, select Virginia on the drop-down menu for State, "grass or grass-like plants" under Habit, and then click on Submit Combination Search. When we did that, we got 349 results, which is probably more than you want to plow through. So, go through the same process, but select Light Requirements, "sun" being 6 or more hours of sun a day, "part shade" 2 to 6 hours, and "shade" 2 hours or less of sun a day. You might want to choose between "perennial" and "annual" under Duration, and certainly choose whether you typically have dry, moist or wet soils under Soil Moisture. We did this, selecting "perennial,""sun" and "moist" and got 49 possibilities.  You can go through this list, clicking on the scientific name of any grass you are interested in, and go to the webpage on that individual plant, where you will learn what size it should be, propagation, etc. There will also be pictures of many of them, and a link to a search on Google for that plant. You may very well find some of the grasses on your property, and can decide if you want to keep them or not. 

We don't recommend you remove grasses from your garden, but if you insist on trying, mowing and pulling is about the safest thing you can do. And they will still come back.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Annual flowers for fall planting in San Antonio
June 22, 2010 - What are some recommended annual flowers for fall planting in a small garden in San Antonio? Also any help on planting and cultivating would be appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Will a gift of bluebonnet seeds grow in Massachusetts?
July 06, 2009 - I recently received a gift of bluebonnet seeds and would like to know if they are suitable to grow in Massachusetts. We live in Zone 5. If so, would they be considered an annual due to our hard winter...
view the full question and answer

Toadflax and Baby Blue Eyes occurring naturally in Texas
March 29, 2007 - Does Toadflax/Spurred Snapdragon occur naturally in Texas? My daughter found what I think is it in a field in Keller, TX, but I'm wondering if it is cultivated. The field is full of a variety of fl...
view the full question and answer

Are Texas wildflowers dying out from Portland, TX
January 27, 2011 - I am doing a school project on whether or not wildflowers are dying out in the state of Texas or not. I need to find a specialist who specializes on this subject. Could you help me??? Please contac...
view the full question and answer

Plants for wildlife/wildflower sanctuary
September 24, 2008 - We have 17 acres in our sub-development called Durham Park that we would like to convert into some kind of wildlife/wildflower sanctuary. Can you put me on the right track.
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