Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
4 ratings

Tuesday - April 20, 2010

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Three native grasses in grass mix research
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

On a recent visit to the wild flower center I was informed that you had satisfactory results from the grass mix research funded by Walmart. Please let us know which 3 grasses and the percentage of each that did well. I live in New Braunfels and I am preparing areas around my house for planting. Also a source to purchase locally would be nice.

ANSWER:

The three grasses are:  Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite).  Dr. Mark Simmons, who is in charge of the research, says that they used the grasses in approximately equal proportions. Native American Seed in Junction has the three grasses for sale individually but they also have two native turf grass mixes:  1) Native Sun Turfgrass, which contains only the buffalograss and the blue grama in a 2:1 ratio, and 2)  Thunder Turf that contains all three grasses. The proportion of curly mesquite in the Thunder Turf mix is very small compared to the buffalo and blue grama which are again in a 2:1 ratio.  You will note in their native grasses that curly mesquite is very expensive when compared to the other two.  You could use the Thunder Turf with the proportions of the grasses they provide; or, Mark suggested you might want to buy Native Sun Turfgrass and add as much of the curly mesquite you feel you can afford; or, buy the the Thunder Turf mix and add extra curly mesquite to it if you like.  The Thunder Turf page tells you what proportions to mix for smaller areas to be covered.

You can read more about the native lawns research and read one of our "How to Articles", Native Lawns: Multi-species, that gives you information about planting and maintaining native lawns.  This article recommends 2 lbs. of buffalo grass, 1.5 lbs. of blue grama and at least 4 oz. of curly mesquite to cover 1000 square feet.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Hilaria belangeri

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Wind and erosion tolerant plants from Austin
August 05, 2013 - I recently cleared a fire break by removing cedar from around my home in West Austin. I'd like to plant the exposed NW facing slope with native shrubs and trees. Looking for selections that can wit...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
August 19, 2009 - I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a ...
view the full question and answer

Dividing Gulf muhly in Leander TX
October 16, 2010 - I purchased a 1-gallon pot of Gulf Muhly (muhlenbergia capillaris) and am wondering if I can divide the clump in order to make my purchase go further. And, regarding that method of propagation, could...
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives to St. Augustine for under an Arizona Ash
October 12, 2006 - I live in Mansfield, TX. We have a large Arizona Ash tree in our back yard. No grass will grow under it. We are thinking of laying sod (St. Augustine) there. Is this a good solution and if so, whe...
view the full question and answer

Want to replace lawn in Ecorse, Michigan.
May 04, 2014 - Hi! I want to replace my lawn, and not have to mow it much at all. What would you suggest? It will be walked on and utilized as a normal lawn. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.