En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-native bermudagrass in meadow in Allen TX

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

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 Meadow Gardens Questions

Restoring a prairie from Austin
January 11, 2013 - Restoring a mixed grass Blackland Prairie? Prairie Plant Succession? We are trying to establish climax species when an area is in a pioneering phase. Does the soil chemistry or biota change during ...
view the full question and answer

Mowing frequency of native lawn from Georgetown TX
August 18, 2012 - I have a native grass and wildflower lawn. At what frequency and when should the lawn be mowed?
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
view the full question and answer

Removing St. Augustine, replacing with native plants
October 06, 2007 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, always excited to talk to the Green Guru himself. I've recently purchased a house in South Austin and am interested in establishing a small, 500+ sq ft, prairie grass and wi...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for a prairie in southeast Texas
September 30, 2013 - We have a small place (about 100 acres) in Colorado County, Texas, on the Colorado River north of the town of Weimar. We are gradually clearing (bulldozing) the woods of cedars. One particular spot ...
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