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
1 rating

Saturday - June 25, 2011

From: Castroville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grass lawn for San Antonio
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr Smartyplants, I live outside of San Antonio and my question is in regards to putting in a native grass lawn. What type of soil should I put down? I've sprayed herbicide and was planning on putting approximately 6 inches of screened top soil but was concerned that this poor soil would not support the grass well and I would be forever applying compost or other nutrients to keep the grass healthy. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Native turfgrass lawns require minimum or no fertilizer, minimum water and minimum mowing.  Please read our article, Native Lawns.  Please also check our How to Articles—Native Lawns:  Multi-species and Native Lawns:  Buffalograss.  These articles give you information about how to prepare your soil and how to plant and maintain a native turfgrass lawn.   The main thing you need to know about these turf grasses—Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass) is that they won't do well unless your site has at least 6 hours of sunshine per day.   If you have a shady lawn, then you need to think about some other type of lawn.  You can read the answer to a recent question Mr. Smarty Plants received asking about native grass for a shady lawn.  Additionally, although their seeds should still germinate and grow, it is going to require a reasonable amount of water until they are well-established.  Once they are established, however, these grasses will require little or no fertilizer, little water and infrequent mowing.  Native American Seed in Junction has turfgrass seed mixes—Thunder Turf with buffalograss, blue grama, and curly mesquite and Native Sun Turfgrass with ony buffalograss and blue grama.  They also sell the grass seeds of each species individually and they have some excellent advice on their Planting Tips, Resources and More page.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Death of Tecoma stans after heavy rain
July 21, 2008 - I had two esperanza plants. They have been planted for about four months, this spring. They were blooming and growing. We had six inches of rain in five days and they began to wilt - and then they d...
view the full question and answer

Why all the acorns from Austin
November 03, 2010 - What's the explanation for the huge crop of acorns falling from my live oak trees this fall. Do you recommend I dump them in my composter or just throw them in the flower beds? Thanking you in adv...
view the full question and answer

Time to transplant an Eastern Redbud in Pearland, TX
November 17, 2010 - When is the best time in the fall to transplant an Eastern Redbud tree in Pearland, TX? We have one approximately 6 feet tall in the back yard and want to move it to the front ASAP.
view the full question and answer

Trees for clay soil from Charlotte TX
August 25, 2013 - We have an area in our yard that even Esperanzas won't grow. It is near another that does great. Six Esperanzas are planted in a north/south row about with 10' between plants, the southern most plan...
view the full question and answer

Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
April 02, 2010 - I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?
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