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?


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
1 rating

Thursday - June 09, 2011

From: Buda, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Using Erosion Mats to Discourage Deer in Buda, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme


I have a small back yard that has turned into a throughway for a large herd of deer. Whenever I try to grow grass the deer pull out the grasses. The more I water it, the more deer traffic. I was wondering if I could put some of that green material down, water it and keep the deer away like the highway department does on the highway ditches. Would this give the grass a chance to at least start and keep the deer away? Is that material along the highways a material with grass seed in it?


The materials you see along the highways are called erosion mats or sometimes erosion blankets. They are usually put on slopes to prevent seed from being washed away before they can germinate and become established. Here is an article from the Journal of the International Erosion Control Association that discusses uses of erosion mats.

The thing that will contribute most to your success is choosing the right grasses. Most of our central Texas native grasses are going to be somewhat deer-resistant (not deer-proof) so will be a better choice than non-native grasses which the deer will eat as soon as the grass comes up.

The erosion mats can be bought with or without seeds. Mr. Smarty Plants strongly urges you to get the kind without seeds. That way you can select a grass mix that you know is appropriate for your area. You just sow the seed mix, then roll on trhe erosion mat and water it all in.

Native grass seed mixes and erosion mats are both available from Native American Seed.


More Deer Resistant Questions

Evergreen deer resistant shrub for Texas
September 25, 2009 - I live in Bastrop TX and the deer have decimated the landscaping at the end of our sidewalk. I need to find compact, evergreen shrubs, (flowering would be a bonus), that will do well in shade and gro...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses and wildflowers to attract butterflies in Blanco Co., TX
February 23, 2005 - Could you please recommend (native, xeriscape, deer resistant) grasses and flowers that attract butterflies that can be grown in Blanco County?
view the full question and answer

Recommendation for variety of St. Johnswort (Hypericum spp.)
April 14, 2008 - Hi. Can you please recommend a variety of St. Johnswort for my yard in the Texas Hill Country? The planting bed is on a southern side of the house, and is shielded from afternoon sun by a tree. The ar...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Pond Plants
March 14, 2013 - I am looking for deer resistant aquatic plants to use around a natural swimming pond in San Marcos, TX. The plants will be used to filter the water in a separate section of the pond. There will be a p...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering possumhaw seedlings indoors in Pflugerville, TX.
September 30, 2009 - Can possumhaw (Ilex decidua) seedlings be kept indoors over the winter? The goal is to protect them from deer and there is no other good option (i.e., no protected outdoor porch, etc.), unless you ca...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center