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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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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.

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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!

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Monday - August 02, 2010

From: Parma Hts, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation
Title: Seedlings from established plants in Parma Hts., OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 20 yr old shrubs and hedges along my back yard. I don't know their variety. How do I keep the seedlings from encroaching in my lawn? The seedlings have sprouted 3 feet into the lawn. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

We're getting a lot of questions right now on seedlings of trees and shrubs coming up where they were not wanted. This excerpt is from one of the number of questions on the subject we have answered:

The sprouts coming up could either be suckers off the roots of your existing plants, or seedlings from previous years' seeds. Either way, they need to be physically removed, by pulling them out. If the terrain permits, you could try mowing very low. If you deny the roots of seedlings the ability to produce leaves long enough, the roots (and the seedling) will starve. And, when the seeds begin to form on the plants next Fall, cut them off and discard them before they can drop. Saplings that have gotten too well established to pull out will have to come out with a shovel, the sooner the better. 

 

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