Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Monday - July 25, 2011

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Lindheimer's muhly, goat food in Fredericksburg TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can I eradicate Lindheimers muhly in my pasture and what can I plant in its place that goats will graze on?

ANSWER:

From the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association Learning About Goats: (read the entire link)

"Because goats will eat just about any type of vegetation, they are increasingly being used to control unwanted vegetation. Leafy spurge, an exotic species of weed poisonous to many types of animals, is taking over range land in many parts of the western United States. Tall whitetop, also known as perennial pepperweed, is another invasive plant goats are being used to help control. In Texas, landowners are using goats to control brush, particularly cedar. Cedar re-growth in fields crowds out native grasses and depletes the groundwater supply. Current research has even determined that certain goats have a genetic preference for cedar. Goats help to control this re-growth and enhance the amount of water percolating into the ground. By using goats to eat these invasive plants, landowners are helping the environment by removing the plants that are crowding out beneficial species. In addition, they do not have to use herbicides to kill the plants."

We would really hope you would not completely remove the Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly) (read the entire link). It is an excellent grass, endemic to the Edward's Plateau, foraged by cattle and other animals, including goats, useful as a small wildlife cover, does not need to be trimmed back in the winter, and helps to shade out invasive weeds. We don't recommend herbicides anywhere that livestock will be feeding; it can spread and kill things you didn't want killed.

If you are determined to eliminate a useful plant, pulling it out of the ground and not permitting it to set seed is about the only alternative.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lindheimer's muhly
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Lindheimer's muhly
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Lindheimer's muhly
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Problems with Mexican feathergrass
October 24, 2015 - I live in Austin. I've recently seen negative comments re: Mexican feathergrass. Is it native to this area? Is it becoming a problem? I have had it in my yard for years and never considered it a ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine with native grasses in San Antonio
November 04, 2009 - I am hoping to replace St. Augustine on a sloped yard with native grass. I was wondering where I might get information on the prairie grass seed mats used by the TXDOT highway dept to stop erosion. ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of native muhly grasses
February 11, 2008 - Do pine muhly, gulf muhly, and bull muhly need an "annual haircut"? I started wondering after reading that Lindheimer's muhly does not have to be cut back each year. I cut back all my non-muhly n...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.