En EspaŅol

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
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

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

When to plant wildflowers in California
December 10, 2013 - When is the best time to plant wildflowers in California?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Virginia crownbeard
January 29, 2005 - I recently moved to the Hill Country and notice some "weeds" that seemed to into explode into ice formations when the temperature first fell below freezing. Can you tell me the name of this plant an...
view the full question and answer

Getting started in gardening
September 16, 2006 - Does the center publish any or several planting guides to help gardeners get started? I find it is overwhelming understanding where to start. I have some lake property in East Texas close to Athen...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of Oenothera flava growing in Michigan
June 16, 2006 - Oenothera flava (A. Nels) Garrett, is it true that this plant is not in Michigan? Is it rare or something? Because I had a hard time trying to find out what it was.
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds coming up early
October 05, 2008 - I purchased several wildflower seeds packages. Everything I read about when to plant, suggest planting in September or October in my area. This is what I did. I planted only about 2 weeks ago. Som...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center