En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 26, 2010

From: Hamilton Co., TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Use of saltwater to kill weeds in gravel in Hamilton Co. TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to get rid of weeds and grasses in our gravel driveway and parking areas. Which would be less harmful to the adjacent native plants and trees: saltwater or herbicide?

ANSWER:

From what we have been able to find, both could be equally damaging to surrounding plants, including to the roots of plants that may be under your gravel driveway.This article from Garden Guide.com Salt Water as a Weed Killer lays out the facts better than we could. Of course, our usual recommendation, which is the lowest risk to the environment, is to pull the darn things out. This may be pretty daunting at first, depending on the size of the area you have to deal with, but many weeds are annuals. If you start when they first start to peek out in the Spring, and stay with it, they will at least be diminished. The main thing to do is not to allow any weed to go to seed. If you can't pull a weed out right away, at least cut the blooms off  before they go to seed. There will be seeds from other places that will be blown in or delivered by birds, so you will never be without weeds. 

 

 

More Pests Questions

Mealy bugs on plants in Washington, DC
July 07, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, There is this white stuff, looking like snow flakes, that is attacking my office plants. I use gasduster to blow it off of them, but that does not stop it from reappearing. Wh...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas Ash from Sun City, AZ
April 20, 2012 - What might be causing the leaves on my Texas Ash tree to have brown spots and curl up and die?
view the full question and answer

Webs on trees and porch
August 21, 2008 - i have webs all over my semi covered porch in my back yard. i have noticed these small webs are also on the trees in my backyard. what are they and are they dangerous to the trees or my family who sit...
view the full question and answer

Blueberry bushes failing to leaf out in Haines Falls, NY
June 25, 2009 - Blueberry bushes planted in spring in upstate New York; no leaves, only the stem. How do we know if they are alive? Blueberries do very well in that area known as Haines Falls, New York (mountain a...
view the full question and answer

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center