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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 16, 2005

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on Wildflower Meadow Gardening
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Good morning! I want to overseed a buffalo lawn that has been down for about a year with a wildflower mix, how would you recommend that we prepare the site.

ANSWER:

First, I recommend reading our article on Wildflower Meadow Gardening. You may also find useful information in other articles in the Native Plant Information Network Clearinghouse Native Plant Library.

The most important concept to apply when sowing seeds is the essential truth of good soil contact. Since your lawn has been in for a year, there is bound to be quite a bit of grass mulch covering the surface of the soil. Try to get as much of that up as is reasonable. Sow your seed by whatever method you find most effective and then go over the seeded area with a leaf rake -- two or three times is better. The idea here is to get those seeds down onto or slightly into the soil. If no rain occurs in the first few days after sowing, the seeds should be watered in well. Do not mow your buffalo grass in late summer or fall.

Wildflower seed germination is often sporadic and subject to influences outside our control -- weather, insects, disease, etc. Further, a newly sown wildflower meadow typically takes three to five years to become well-established. Sometimes it helps to know this to adjust expectations to reality.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower seed for west central Texas acreage
June 06, 2005 - We have a ranch in central Texas between Brownwood and Brady and want to plant wildflowers that will grow in that area. We'd like to cover acreage and need information on what mix would suit our are...
view the full question and answer

Lupinus perennis Poisonous to Dogs?
April 14, 2013 - I have heard that some lupine varieties are quite poisonous to dogs, others are not. Do you know if it's safe for my dogs if I plant and encourage Lupinus perennis in my NH meadow?
view the full question and answer

Spanish name for bluebonnet
May 14, 2008 - What is the Spanish name for bluebonnet? They were in Texas before any other Europeans and must have named the flower. I cannot find it anywhere.
view the full question and answer

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema sp.) blooms
May 06, 2008 - My jack in the pulpit bloomed last year with the back of the spathe showing and the spadix facing away, similar to a child standing in a corner. I read on a site why this happens but now I can't find...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets to bloom in September in Harlingen, TX
April 30, 2008 - How can I get bluebonnets to bloom in the first week of September? I need them for my daughter's wedding! We live in Harlingen. Thank you.
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