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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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Wednesday - March 31, 2010

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have lots of blue bonnets growing in my yard but they are overcome with weeds. What can I use to eliminate the weeds without killing the bluebonnets?

ANSWER:

Pull them out. Sorry, that's the only option. Anything you spray on the weeds will kill the bluebonnets and other plants in the neighborhood. Here is an answer to the question "Is there a way to weed my yard with weed killer and not harm my bluebonnets?" which came to Mr. Smarty Plants a few days ago.

"No. There are herbicides out there for broad-leaf plants or dicots (which includes  bluebonnets), for monocots, or grasses and the broad spectrum, kill-everything herbicides that will melt your sidewalk. Many of your weeds will probably be native grasses, but spraying with a spray for monocots just threatens other monocots, like your lawn grass. Spraying with an herbicide for dicots will kill the broad leaf plants and the bluebonnets, and can also drift around to kill a shrub or two, because they are also dicots. And, finally, all herbicides and pesticides can become residual runoff material, as rain or watering causes them to run off into our water supply and subsequently into your water glass. Identify the plants you want to keep, monocot or dicot, and pull out the others that you consider weeds. Getting them out before they have a chance to go to seed will help, although the wind and helpful birds will continue to provide you with fresh stock." 

 

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