En Español

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
2 ratings

Saturday - February 27, 2010

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: When and how to mow native grass in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

We live on a ranch near Kerrville. The grass is sparse KR, purple three-awn and some Texas wintergrass. How and when is the best way and time to mow this native grass?

ANSWER:

Nassella leucotricha (Texas wintergrass) and Aristida purpurea (purple threeawn) are native grasses, but Bothriochloa ischaemum (King Ranch or KR Bluestem) is not a native and is considered to be seriously invasive

Mowing anytime time of year will encourage grass growth. If you want to encourage the wintergrass, then mow in summer.  To encourage the threeawn, mow in winter. Unfortunately, mowing either time will probably favor the KR over the other two grasses. If your KR is sparse, this might be a good time to consider some control measures—either mechanical or herbicide application.  You can read a discussion of control measures for KR bluestem in the answer to a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Certified organic native grass seeds for Texas
August 10, 2014 - Thanks for your previous answer to my pasture grass seed question. We know about Native American Seed but they don't sell certified organic seeds. We're not sure whether we'll be able to find cer...
view the full question and answer

New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
October 27, 2009 - While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses an...
view the full question and answer

Native border plants to stop erosion
February 18, 2015 - I need native border plants to assist in stopping soil erosion due to water run off from rain and the Catawba River.
view the full question and answer

Thicken clumps of Panicum virgatum in Stafford VA
July 22, 2009 - I am growing Panicum Virgatum varieties that will be transplanted in September to form a Native American maze project. I have given the quart size starts a root fertilizer when I planted them to try ...
view the full question and answer

Native grass for caliche soil in Austin
February 06, 2010 - I am interested in using native grasses in part of my lawn per the recent article on these from the Wildflower Center. The problem is I live W. of Austin where there is very little top soil and calic...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center