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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 25, 2010

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Native grasses for a lawn in Wimberley, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is there a lawn grass that will go dormant with no water at all and come back? ..in Wimberley? our native grass didn't survive the drought.

ANSWER:

We can't guarantee that there are any native lawn grasses that will withstand all drought situations; however, the Wildflower Center has been doing research on the best combination of native lawn grasses that require no fertilizers, little water and little mowing.  The three grasses are Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite). We had a recent question about the ratios of the grasses used in the research.  Here is an excerpt from that answer:

"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 will have to have moisture to get the grasses to germinate and become established.  Hopefully, the recent rains will be a regular occurrence and you won't have to water.  Once they are established they should survive all but the severest of droughts without any added water. 

One of our "How to Articles", Native Lawns: Multi-species, 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 Turf Questions

Evergreen ground cover for San Antonio
August 03, 2011 - Is there a short, evergreen, drought tolerant ground cover which will tolerate light traffic that can be used instead of grass? San Antonio, Texas
view the full question and answer

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
view the full question and answer

Environmentally friendly and drought resistant alternatives to St. Augustine grass
September 28, 2006 - As a member of the planning committee of our property owners association in Wimberley TX, we are researching ways to make our landscape environmentally friendly and drought resistant. We have 60,000 ...
view the full question and answer

Do I need to cover my Habiturf planting with straw?
March 02, 2012 - I'm preparing to seed the Habiturf in my front yard in a couple of weeks. My dad has suggested I spread some straw to help protect the seeds. Your thoughts? Thanks!!!
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center