En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 17, 2011

From: Allen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Meadow Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Non-native bermudagrass in meadow in Allen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the effect of not killing or removing bermuda grass when converting an area to a prairie meadow in Allen, Texas? Most articles describing how to create and establish a prairie meadow suggest killing or removing all weeds and existing plants. We (an HOA) want to convert several of our community grassy areas into a prairie meadow with native wildflowers and native grasses simply by mowing the bermuda very short and then sowing the area with seeds. While this is perhaps not the best implementaion method, will it work? What will be the effect over one, two, three years? Are you completely opposed to this method?

ANSWER:

Read our How-To Articles on Meadow Gardening and on Recreating a Prairie Meadow. Both of these articles point out that leaving existing invasive or non-native grasses in the area will negatively impact the progress in the meadow. See this University of California at Davis Integrated Pest Management article on Bermudagrass. It is considered one of the most invasive weeds in the south, and since it propagates itself largely by underground rhizomes, mowing it close will have little effect on its continued activity. Another How-To Article, this one on Native Lawns: Multi-Species, will give you more information on mowing and just "sowing the area with seeds," which probably won't work.

There is no reason why we would be opposed to anyone's gardening plans, but we do think you should be warned that bermudagrass is not that easy to get rid of.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants to grow in shady sand in Florida
March 31, 2013 - We live in central Florida (directly between Orlando and Tampa). Our yard is mostly sand for soil and difficult parts in shade almost all day from large trees. What ground cover (grass) and hedges can...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for a pasture in Hays County, Texas with horses
March 20, 2015 - I intend to sow grass seed over a few acres of pasture on which I'll have a couple of horses in Driftwood, TX. I'd like to know what variety of seed(s) would be most beneficial to the land - and th...
view the full question and answer

Allowing Habiturf to seed out in Austin TX or Austin OR
November 21, 2013 - What does it mean to let habiturf "go to seed?" Do I need to wait for all the seeds to drop before that is true? Or, if I mow it when there are seed heads, will those seeds provide new plants in the...
view the full question and answer

Indiangrass by seed or plugs in Greenville SC
October 18, 2009 - Mr Smarty Plants, is it better to establish Indiangrass by plugs or seed? Seems you would get much quicker coverage by seed, tending to choke out "strangers". I'm establishing a small native mea...
view the full question and answer

Grass for area under pecans in Abilene, TX
January 01, 2009 - I have two large pecan trees in my back yard. Grass has always been hard to grow under these two trees, but lately all grass seems to have "vanished" and I'm left with mostly bare soil. Is there ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center