En Español

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?


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
2 ratings

Friday - January 14, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Reseed Buffalograss in Early Spring in San Antonio
Answered by: Stephen Scace


When is best time to put down Buffalo grass seed in 78260 area. How much dirt should I put over existing sodded buffalo grass, which is now sparse?


The best time to sow Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) seed in Central Texas is early spring. Reseeding over existing turf is a lot like planting a new lawn from seed, without the deep preparation of the soil that would disturb the existing sod. Our How-To Article, "Native Lawns: Multi-Species", might be helpful.

Briefly, you'll want to add enough soil–remember that Buffalograss doesn't like sand–to cover the seeds and hold some moisture. Be sure to keep the soil moist for the first ten days, watering every day if necessary, then water twice a week for a month and once a week for another two months during the growing season.

Before you proceed with this project, it might be worthwhile to figure out why your existing sod has become sparse. If the conditions that caused thinning of your turf continue, your newly seeded plants won't thrive, either. Was the soil prepared adequately before the sod was laid? Is the soil too sandy for Buffalograss? Does it get at least six hours of sun daily from March through November?


More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Using corn gluten to suppress weeds in buffalo grass, blue grama and curly mesquite
March 22, 2010 - I own a home in central Austin and am replacing my St. Augustine lawn with a native grass blend of Buffalo, Blue Grama, and Curly Mesquite as a pre-emptive attack for the inevitable drought conditions...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a pool fence in Ohio
October 28, 2010 - I live in Ohio and have a pool with a white vinyl fence. Each year I plant sunflowers around it, but they are so messy when the birds/bees find them. Previously I planted castor beans, however, they...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for hillside in N. Reading MA
July 29, 2010 - I am seeking a grass for a steep, sunny slope in the NE.
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants for cemetery site
February 09, 2005 - I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a bioswale in Baltimore
July 22, 2009 - What native plants would suit a bioswale in an urban part of Baltimore City? The clay soil gets waterlogged and the site has part shade.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center