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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.

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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.  

 

 

 

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