Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Tuesday - July 06, 2010

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Sowing native grass seeds in July in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a bare patch of soil behind my house. Can I sow native grass seeds now?

ANSWER:

It would not be a good idea. In spite of the rain and comparatively cool weather we have had in the first few weeks of Spring and Summer, the real Central Texas Summer is now here. Please read some of our How-To Articles and one from our Conservation section on the planting of native grass seeds in this part of the state:

Native Lawns: Buffalograss

Native Lawns: Multi-Species - note this article says early Spring is best, don't do it in mid-Winter or mid-Summer.

From our Conservation section: Native Lawns

These all involve native, lawn-type grasses, and all those grasses need full sun, which we consider to be 6 hours or more of sun a day. If there is a lot of shade, you may have to opt for some low-growing native groundcovers. You didn't say what size this patch of ground is, but you could also choose a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. See our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening

The message here is: don't try to get new plants going in extremes of weather, hot or cold. Whatever you plant needs to be appropriate to the sunlight available, the soil and the purpose for which it will be used. Unfortunately, none of these can be achieved by just pitching some seeds out. You can spend the time between now and the right season for planting preparing the ground, for which there are instructions in all of the articles to which we referred, as well as planning and selection of what you want to plant. There is no point in planting grass seeds now, they won't start to germinate until Spring, which will give insects, birds and the wind plenty of time to carry off the seeds. And, finally, native plants are not a no-care cure-all. They will need to be protected from invasive weeds and irrigated, at least for the first few months until the plants can become well-established.  

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

Searching for nursery with yellow nutsedge in NC
January 27, 2014 - I'd like to plant yellow nut sedge as a cover to stop erosion in a lot. Where can I buy yellow nut sedge plants near Kinston, North Carolina? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Narrow strip of groundcover from Sonora TX
April 29, 2013 - I have an area that is right under my patio about 12 feet by 1 ft. I'm looking for something to plant in there. It has afternoon sun, morning shade. I live in SW Texas so it is hot. but would like so...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
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.