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 - September 30, 2009

From: Kaufman, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Damage from feral hogs
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello. What extent of damage can be expected when planting wildflower seeds in an area regularly visited by feral hogs? In some cases do the hogs actually help plant the seed as they root around? Does it depend largely on when in the life cycle of the wildflowers the hogs do the digging? Are there any methods to discourage feral hogs from rooting in new plantings? One native seed company suggested stapling straw erosion control matting over the planting. We're working on hog control, but don't expect the situation to be resolved before the ideal time for planting wildflowers has passed. Fencing is impractical in our situation, due to the large area being planted. And from what I understand, hogs usually find their way through fencing eventually. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Feral hogs have become a serious problem across the US.  They tear up the soil and vegetation rooting for food (e.g., tubers, roots, mushrooms, insects) and make large depressions destroying almost all vegetation in the wallows that they make.  In areas where they are merely passing through and doing some mild rooting, it is conceivable they could help plant the seed as they turn over the soil.  However, when they are doing serious rooting or serious wallowing, wildflower plantings are not going to have much of a chance.  I have seen areas where the pigs have been that look as if they have been worked by earth moving machines.  I am very skeptical that putting down erosion control matting over the planting would keep the hogs from rooting or wallowing there.  My feeling is that the pigs will take the erosion control cloth as a special challenge to uproot and/or destroy.  My recommendation is to keep working on hog control.  The fewer hogs on your property, the less the destruction and the more likely you will see success with the flowers.  Try to determine the areas that the pigs are using most often and avoid those that seem to have the heaviest use for your wildflower planting.  Sow your seeds where there has been the least disturbance and pray that the pigs don't move their major usage to the place you've just seeded.

Here are links to two publications with useful 'official' information about the hogs and control efforts by the State of Texas:

The Feral Hog in Texas from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Coping with Feral Hogs from Texas A&M 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Newly planted anacacho leaf browning
October 15, 2007 - I have just put my anacacho orchid into the ground and its leaves are turning brown and falling off. Is that normal for this time of year, or have I shocked it? What can I do to ensure its health?
view the full question and answer

Spots on persimmon tree leaves from Dripping Springs TX
July 10, 2013 - We are in rural Hays County Texas off Hamilton Pool Rd Texas. Large persimmon trees are turning yellow, blackish spots on underside of leaves. What do we do?
view the full question and answer

Effect of heavy rains on Lindheimer Muhly
May 04, 2015 - It is April 2015, in San Antonio we've had very heavy rains recently. My Lindheimer muhly, which was looking beautiful, has now turned brown all over. Is this normal or is this a problem?
view the full question and answer

Need help with powdery mildew and mites in Bastrop, TX
July 26, 2011 - I tend to flower beds for the city. I have noticed a powdery mildew in 2 beds. It is on the Pavonia and Turks caps. I now notice mites. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Need some help with a Plumbago plant in Mission, TX.
August 06, 2010 - Hello..I live in south South Texas and have a plumbago. It gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun and lately some of the branches and leaves turn bright green almost yellow. Am I over watering or is ...
view the full question and answer

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