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

Tuesday - June 28, 2011

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Will non-native St. Augustine crowd out non-native bermudagrass in Plano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have Bermuda sod via builder, looked great for 3+ years. then had crack house neighbors max weeds for 2+ years. Killing them (the weeds) had a toll on the grass. Now a fifth of the LOSER neighbors are putting down St Augustine and it is rampant. Should I give in and let it rule? The only thing that hurts it is Image crab grass killer, but again it puts the hurt on the bermuda.

ANSWER:

Some of your problems Mr. Smarty Plants is not equipped to deal with, but we can help you out with the grasses. First, please step away from the spray can. Image is a post-emergent killer of broad-leaf weeds, which means it not only won't kill the St. Augustine, but can't get at the underground stolons of both grasses. Meanwhile, applications of too much is only polluting your soil and will eventually be washed away to drain into the water supply

Now, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. Both grasses you are dealing with are non-native, and we would not recommend either of them. On the other hand, you seem determined to have a conventional lawn, for which there may not be many good native choices.

To answer your main question, will the St. Augustine crowd out the Bermudagrass? Not likely. We don't know what the sun and shade situations in the adjoining yards are, but St. Augustine is often used because it can tolerate shade. It also requires more water than most lawn grasses. Bermudagrass, on the other hand, can survive without so much water and does not thrive in shade. So, if your lawn is in the sun and you don't over-water it, the St. Augustine is not going to be able to compete with the Bermudagrass. And, even if it does, they are both grasses, they are both green. Just mow them and don't stress out so much.

One last word on your Bermudagrass-it is considered one of the worst invasive weeds in the South, so it's just as well you like it, you're probably going to keep on having it.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Transplanting a young lilac
November 05, 2012 - This past spring I planted a hybrid lilac in the ground. The weather here has started to get cold, and much more so at night. Also, the temperatures go from warm to cold and back again as if unsure wh...
view the full question and answer

Non-native gardenias in Southampton Ontario
July 31, 2012 - I purchased 3 gardenias this year for the garden. Now I'm told that I can't leave them out all year round here in mid/western Ontario. Is this true, and if so, how do I keep them over the winter i...
view the full question and answer

Non-native lavender for Texas in San Antonio
July 15, 2009 - I am looking for a lavender (English?) that will tolerate Tx summers, is evergreen, will tolerate some shade. I want to border a sidewalk with it. All help appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Another plant with ice plant as the common name from Corpus Christi
June 17, 2010 - This is not a question, but your "ice plant" answer to El Cajon did not consider Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, which I believe is the common roadside succulent that ate California. God have mercy ...
view the full question and answer

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center