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

Spots on persimmon tree leaves from Dripping Springs TX
July 10, 2013 - We are in rural Hays County Texas off Hamilton Pool Rd Texas. Large persimmon trees are turning yellow, blackish spots on underside of leaves. What do we do?
view the full question and answer

Identity of small objects that look like tiny pecans
November 14, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am doing my science fair project on acorns. Last year I measured how many acorns and other nature-y stuff fell into a baby pool from a live oak tree in my backyard every ...
view the full question and answer

Cupressaceae dying in Suffolk Co.NY
October 20, 2012 - I have noticed that all of my Cupressaceae (& others I see in my area) are dying. They turn yellow, then rust & brown til they are everbrowns. what is going on?
view the full question and answer

Mosquito repelling plants from Euless TX
July 24, 2013 - Are there any shade loving plants that repel mosquitoes for North Central Texas? I checked your site and saw nothing on this topic.
view the full question and answer

Small white bugs on indoor hibiscus in Ohio
November 25, 2008 - My Hibiscus has small white bugs on the leaves with small white residue. Looks like very small pieces of white rice. This white rice is also covering the UNOPENED buds and making them fall off. 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