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

Sunday - May 29, 2011

From: Hurst, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Groundcovers
Title: Replacing Weeds with Native Plants in Dallas Area
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I have a large oak tree in my front yard and lots and lots of miscellaneous weeds (clover, chickweed, stickers, etc.). I am wanting to grow grass in my front yard, that is shaded pretty much most of the day, and get rid of all the weeds. Any suggestions on what to do to get grass in my yard and not weeds?

ANSWER:

Normally, Mr. Smarty Plants would recommend solarization to kill the weeds before planting natives, but it sounds like you may have too much shade for the solarization to be fully effective. Here is an article that discusses sveral methods for killing weeds. 

Now, when it comes to planting natives, you should know that native turf grasses are not going to do well in the shade. However, there are a number of native plants that are grass-like (the sedges) and a number of native groundcovers that can be an attractive alterntive to grasses.

Mr. Smarty Plants has addressed questions similar to yours before. Here are links to a some examples:

Native grass for Austin to sow in the early spring

Plants for shaded area under pecan trees

Native Grass for Sandy Soil and Shade

 

From the Image Gallery


Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Cherokee sedge
Carex cherokeensis

More Pests Questions

Need help with powdery mildew and mites in Bastrop, TX
July 26, 2011 - I tend to flower beds for the city. I have noticed a powdery mildew in 2 beds. It is on the Pavonia and Turks caps. I now notice mites. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Ashe juniper from Lakeway TX
May 25, 2013 - Dear Sir/Madam, I have been living for the last three years in Lakeway, Texas approximately 20 miles west of Austin. In my back garden there are several ashe junipers about 15-20ft tall. However...
view the full question and answer

Are non-native hostas causing fly invasion from Eastpointe MI
July 14, 2013 - I live in Michigan with a small backyard. I have 5 large hostas with the purple flower blooms which are located by my patio. I was wondering if they can be causing my large population of unwanted flie...
view the full question and answer

Discouraging rattlesnakes in northern California
July 12, 2011 - Searching for information re: managing your garden to discourage snakes, especially rattlesnakes. I live in northern California and we have many. I found one of your articles, but the link to an U. of...
view the full question and answer

Problems with purple passion flower from DeKalb TX
March 27, 2011 - Yes my purple passion plant, is pretty but there is a piece of it that's all limp, what do I need to do to revive it?
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