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 - March 03, 2010

From: Burton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Can you produce hay and bluebonnets on the same field?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi - We have a field that produces wild bluebonnets every spring. Is it possible to grow and bail hay in this field and not kill off our bluebonnets? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Yes. 

Bluebonnet seeds sprout in late summer and fall, grow as rosettes flat on the ground through the winter and bolt (grow tall and flower) in March and April.  They quickly form seeds which they scatter in May or early June.

It is a good idea to mow down the dead tops of your bluebonnets as soon as they have released their seeds.  They'll be brown and unsightly by then anyway.  Given some summer rains, you should be able to harvest a hay crop off of your field in the fall.  So long as you mow again before the bluebonnets begin to really spring up in March (you don't want bluebonnets in your hay), you can probably harvest a second, winter crop then.

Bluebonnets do not compete particularly well with grasses - that's why displays on heavily-grazed pastures are often spectacular - so they'll appreciate the hay harvests.  For the most part, they stand up well to being run over by farm equipment so long as they're not mowed down.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Drought and pollution resistant flowers for Rock Falls, IL
February 08, 2009 - I am looking for hearty flowers for our city planters that are both resistant to drought and auto emissions. We are located in northern Illinois. Planting is done in May.
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in Hampton VA?
July 12, 2014 - I gave my mom Blue Bonnet seeds for her yard in Hampton VA. She is on a mission to have no lawn and loves flowers. The seeds say to plant in Texas August-November. But, when should she plant them i...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers attracting bees in Schulenberg TX
March 12, 2011 - What native wildflowers are honey bees attracted to?
view the full question and answer

Root lengths of Central Texas wildflowers
March 10, 2009 - I'm looking for lengths of the roots of wildflowers of Central Texas. It would be particularly helpful to know the really long ones. Any native prairie flowers or grasses would do.
view the full question and answer

Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA
July 05, 2011 - I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w...
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