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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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Sunday - May 16, 2010

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Native grass for lawn in Round Rock, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am interested in your recommendation for the grass at my home. I currently have St. Augustine but have become very aggravated by it. I am looking for a low maintenance grass that I can replace it with. I have read one article under the Q&A section about mixing blue grama, curly mesquite, and buffalo grass. I actually have been thinking of going this route. What do you suggest. My main issue with St. Augustine is it dies very easily, and I cannot control the weeds.

ANSWER:

If your lawn is sunny, then we would highly recommend the mixture of Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite).  This is the mixture that the Wildflower Center research has shown to work best for native lawns for grass density and for keeping out weeds.  You can find seeds for sale at Native American Seed in Junction, Texas.  You might want to consider their Thunder Turf mix which includes these three native sun turf grasses.  Native American Seed has another mix, Native Sun Turfgrass, that includes just the buffalograss and the blue grama.  You can also buy each of these grasses separately.  I recommend that you read our How to Article, Native Lawns: Multi-species, that has specific instructions for establishing your native lawn with specifics on watering, mowing and feeding it.  You might also want to read Native American Seed's article, Planting Tips for Native Grasses, for information on removing your St. Augustine  as well as caring for your new native lawn. If your lawn is not sunny, then I recommend that you read the answer to a recent question suggesting plants for a shaded lawn in Austin.

 

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