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
1 rating

Sunday - September 04, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wanted to know how I determine if I have too much shade? I also wanted to know if there is company out there where I can purchase the seed and have them prep my yard and plant. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

We will have to tell you that the native turf grasses all depend on quite a bit of sun. Begin by charting your yard as regards the amount of sun on each area. This will require your checking various areas of the property at various times of the day. This time of year you will undoubtedly have more sun that ordinarily, except in the shade of large deciduous trees or structures. Generally speaking, we consider "full sun" to be 6 or more hours of sun a day. "Part shade" is 2 to 6 hours of sun, and "shade" is 2 hours or less of sun.

You have probably already read our How-To Articles on native turf grasses, but here are links to them for you or others who might be considering the same thing:

Native Lawns: Buffalograss

Native Lawns: Multi-Species

There are links in each article to our webpages on the individual grasses,

As for purchase of the seed and/or contractors go to our National Suppliers Directory, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list in your general area of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Establishing wildflowers on a slope in Virginia
August 18, 2012 - From Roanoke Virginia. I have a steep bank rising from one side of my driveway to woods above. Different areas vary from full sun, to half day shade. It is possible to carefully walk/stand on it, we a...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for organic farm in Elgin TX
July 22, 2014 - Hi there, I am working to restore native grasses on our certified organic farm in Elgin, TX. We raise eggs, grass fed beef, and grass fed lamb. I am having a terrible time finding organic pastur...
view the full question and answer

Mowing Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)
July 05, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Although I see you have posted some information about mowing Buffalograss it doesn't seem to answer my question. Will it hurt to mow the buffalograss flags off? Will t...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf care from Plano TX
July 03, 2014 - Five weeks ago, we planted a Habiturf lawn in our back yard. The grass looks great and is already about 6 inches. I have two questions to solve before we do the front yard. We have lots of purslane m...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native maiden grasses from Fredericksburg TX
May 25, 2013 - I am trying to replace some maiden grasses that died during the drought. I want an evergreen grass or something soft looking to replace them. I want something that is native and 5 to 6 feet tall to ...
view the full question and answer

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