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 - May 11, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Comparison of native turf with St. Augustine and Kentucky bluegrass
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

The native turf page mentions outperforming Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, and Kentucky blue, but the graphs only compare the natives to Bermudagrass. How do the native mixes stand up to St. Augustine and Kentucky Blue, especially St. Augustine since that's common around Houston.

ANSWER:

You are correct that the Native Lawns study didn't do comparisons with St. Augustine and Kentucky bluegrass.  This is because it has already been established that they do not resist drought as well as buffalograss and Bermudagrass.  You can see comparisons that include St. Augustine and zoysia grass in a study, Non-irrigated Turfgrass Study, by J. A. McAfee and Ron Leps for the Williamson County Extension Service. 

Another factor that affects the success of turf grass is the amount of sunlight.  The native lawns study was a full sun study so we cannot draw conclusions about shade conditions from that study.  It is known, however, that the turf grasses of the study, especially Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss), don't fare as well in shade as St. Augustine.  Additionally, buffalograss doesn't grow well in sand, a common soil type in the Houston area.

We can conclude that buffalograss and/or the multi-species native turf that includes buffalograss does very well in the sun with little irrigation once it has been established.  Please read Native Lawns:  Buffalograss and Native Lawns: Multi-species for more information.

You can read the answer to a recent question to find native grass substitutes for shady sites in the Houston area.

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Fast-growing vine for cinder block wall in Albuquerque
July 26, 2010 - I live in Albuquerque, N.M. and have a cement/cinder block wall and was wondering if there is a vine I can plant which will be easy to grow, grow fast and cover my wall without any type of help like a...
view the full question and answer

Request for native grasses from Hillsboro TX
August 04, 2012 - P.S. I forgot to mention one very important fact: my neighbor specifically asked for "native grass" recommendations. He thought he was getting a native grass recommendation.
view the full question and answer

Should wait to trim Inland Sea Oats until all seeds have been dropped from Austin
March 18, 2011 - Regarding Inland Sea Oats: I trimmed the stalks that have lost all the seeds. Should I trim the rest of the stalks or wait until all seeds have dropped?
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
October 11, 2012 - I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for Gilmer TX
March 01, 2009 - I would like to get some native grasses growing on our farm that are good for wildlife - barnyard grass - sedges - smartweed - have read and heard that all I need to do is disc and fertilize - yes/no ...
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