Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - July 28, 2010

From: Covington, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Maintenance of a wildflower garden in Covington, GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a small wildflower meadow in my backyard in southern Newton County, Georgia. The area has a 17% slope and is surrounded by mixed a stand of hard and soft woods. This year the spring and early summer flowers looked great, but now that the black-eyed susan are going to seed, weeds and small trees are taking over. Can I do a late summer mowing to get rid of the weeds? Should I sow additional wildflower seeds if I do mow? Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

First, read our How-To Article Meadow Gardening. It really answers all your questions. You will absolutely have to be vigilant about woody plants and weeds moving into a wildflower meadow, or they will take over, and you will have larger plants and trees shading out your wildflowers. When the plants you are trying to preserve have seeded, you can certainly mow. You can mow again in the late Winter when the seedlings are low, setting your mower at a higher cutting distance. Whether or not you sow more seeds is entirely up to you, perhaps doing so to add diversity to your selection of wildflowers or just to ensure having the ones you like best. It will become self-perpetuating if, and only if, you mow and remove (without using herbicides) those plants and trees that don't belong. 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflowers that will grow in sandy soil in New York
June 09, 2005 - Dear Mr. S. Pants, We live near Albany, NY in what was once a pine forest. The soil is very, very sandy. I've had some success with wildflowers but I have to use some topsoil and humus mixture to ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Seed Planting in Austin in April
April 30, 2015 - What wildflower seeds can I plant in April? Is there a schedule?
view the full question and answer

Locales for photographing wildflowers in Dallas, TX area
April 17, 2007 - My daughter has a project for school where she has to find and take her picture with 20 different Texas wildflowers and identify them. We have found some of the more common ones, but I was wondering ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Echinacea paradoxa
July 01, 2005 - What kind of habitat (soil, sun, water etc) does Echinacea paradoxa like to live in?
view the full question and answer

Need to Control Giant Ragweed in Wildflower Field in Austin, Texas
December 11, 2010 - I have an acre pond around my business park planted with several different kinds of wildflowers. I let all the vegetation grow until the first frost, because I have wildflowers that grow throughout ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.