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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Thursday - November 05, 2009

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Best sod for a yard in Elgin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

First time home buyer and the back yard will need to be sodded. What is an honest price range for this service for 213 sq.yds.? The site is in blackland prairie soil. What type grass is best suited for this area and is drought resistant and low maintenance?

ANSWER:

When you use the terms; grass suited for this area, drought resistant, and low maintenance, Mr. Smarty Plants' thoughts go to Buffalograss Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss).   Two of our "How To Articles"; Native Lawns and Native Lawns: Bufffalograss  provide a wealth of information about the characteristics of the plant, the establishing and caring for a lawn, and the benefits of using native grasses in your lawn. You can purchase Buffalograss sod from most local turf grass suppliers, and it can be installed this fall. We have no information about pricing for this service.

However, from the "Native Lawns" article you see that our research at the Wildflower Center indicates that a mixture of Buffalograss, Blue Grama Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), and Curly Mesquite Grass Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite) produces a lawn that needs less mowing, watering, and weeding. This mixture is only available as seed at this time, and should be sown in the spring.

One of our supplier associates, Native American Seed in Junction, Texas offers a Blue Grama/Buffalograss seed mix as well as a number of seed mixes for wildflowers and native grasses. While they do offer Curly Mesquite Grass, it is available only in limited supply as seed collection for this species is very difficult.  They also have a helpful article, Planting Tips for Native Grasses.

 


 

 

 

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