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

Monday - January 24, 2011

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Low Maintenance Grasses for Montgomery County, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I have to replace a dead lawn. Can you recommend a low maintenance, low water need grass seed for Spring, in Montgomery County, Texas

ANSWER:

A native turfgrass sounds like what you need. Not only will native grasses require less water and mowing, they will also be more disease resistant.

The Wildflower Center os doing  ongoing research in the use of native grasses for lawns. Much of this research focuses on mixtures of native grasses, particularly a mixture of Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass). Most often, Mr. Smarty Plants recommends this mixture for people who want to establish native grass lawns in Texas. The only thing is, blue grama and curly mesquite are not native in the eastern part of the state so they may not do well in Montgomery County.

A better choice for you may be to plant buffalograss alone. Here is a How-to article on buffalograss that gives you tips on preparing the soil and sowing the seed. Buffalograss sod is available at many native plant nurseries and seed is widely available from vendors such as Native American Seed.

Buffalograss needs full sun. If you have shady areas, you may be better off with a native ground cover. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that, in addition to talking about buffalograss, gives some suggestions for plants to use as ground cover.


Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania
July 12, 2011 - What do I do with a very steep bank with hard clay soil to stop erosion and to look nice. Is there a ground cover that would help?
view the full question and answer

Plants for wall behind pool in Huntingdon Beach California
May 11, 2009 - I have a backyard pool and I just removed a messy ivy hedge that grew along the back block wall. The plant was shedding too much leaves. I would like the new plant to hide the fence and grow close en...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for moist, steep hillside in Tupelo MS
July 01, 2010 - I have a very steep bank that I have pampas grass planted in spots. It must be a natural spring in the bank because it stays very wet and runs into the street below. Can you suggest something to pla...
view the full question and answer

Native Hill Country grasses, flowers for April garden show
March 17, 2005 - I will be a first ever (!) exhibitor in my garden club's garden show this April 7. Our theme is The Passion of Texas - my specific category is The Hill Country. Help!!! All materials I use must be al...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a bank too steep to mow
June 24, 2009 - Like the inquiry made in late June of 2008, mine involves a bank that is too steep to mow. However, ours is facing south. I am looking for a native grass, plant or groundcover. Any suggestions? ...
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