Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
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

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
view the full question and answer

Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
June 25, 2008 - I have a ten foot Red Maple tree that has been set out for 4 years. Its leaves have slowly turned colors until it currently looks like fall. The leaves are not falling off nor is there yet any s...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree dropping limbs in Grand Prairie, TX.
September 04, 2012 - Our 15 year old pecan tree is losing it's limbs. The tree and its leaves look healthy with no signs of bugs or mites, but all the limbs are drooping and breaking off. The tree did have a bumper crop ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Live Oak in Boerne TX
April 24, 2011 - I had my large Live Oak trimmed last year. This spring there seems to be a problem with leaf growth. Most leaves are small in nature and appear to have been attacked possibly by bugs. Many of the bran...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves yellowing from Denton TX
January 26, 2012 - In autumn of 2010 I planted 10 live oaks about 6 to 7 ft. tall. I have see that during the month of Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012 they are showing some yellow leaves. What can I do to help them?
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.