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
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

Non-native blue potato bush in El Dorado Hills CA
June 12, 2010 - I have two blue potato bush topiary planted in my front porch in a very big planter. It's getting a full afternoon sun. I am wondering why they are losing their leaves??? Am I overwatering them??? Al...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
June 08, 2014 - We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Purple Heart in Raleigh, NC
December 24, 2014 - I was hoping you could help me with an indoor/outdoor houseplant issue. I have a purple heart, that lives outside in the summers and indoors in the winters. I brought it in a few weeks ago and am no...
view the full question and answer

Where to test for Bacterial Leaf Scorch in Austin, Texas
September 26, 2010 - It appears that the American elm trees in my backyard may have Bacterial Leaf scorch. Where can I have this confirmed?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Lantanas
August 06, 2008 - Here at work we have 4 beautiful yellow Santanas(should I say had), the leaves have started to turn brown and no longer blooming. Appears to have a fungus or disease. Please help!
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