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
1 rating

Monday - October 31, 2011

From: Paige/Bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Ground cover for burned acreage in Bastrop, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

The fire took 2/3 of the trees on my half acre in Bastrop County. It was mostly wild. What do I plant for ground cover? Do I plant native grass seed in fall? I want to keep it native as possible. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Native American Seed in Junction has developed a special mix of native grasses and wildflowers called Southeast Recovery Mix to help restore the land in Bastrop County.  The time to sow these seeds is now—in the fall.   They also  have two excellent sets of instructions—"How to Grow Native Wildflowers" and "How to Grow Native Seeds"—to help you prepare the soil and sow the seeds.  On our webpage I recommend that you read our How-to-Arcticle, "Meadow Gardening."  It explains why, when creating a meadow, you want both wildflowers and native grasses.  You might also find "Getting Started" useful.

If, however, you would rather just plant grasses, here a several that will do well in your area:

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Sporobolus cryptandrus (Sand dropseed) and here are photos and more information.

Tridens flavus (Purpletop tridens)

Finally, you might contact Healing Hands, Healing Lands, a project begun by the Austin, Williamson County and Bastrop chapters of Native Plant Society; the Williamson, Travis, Bastrop and Hays County chapters of the Master Naturalists; the Travis and Hays County chapters of the Master Gardeners; Habitat Stewards of Austin; the Taylor Garden Club and the Crown Garden Glub  of Rockdale.  They are preparing native seed balls for distribution to "aid and accelerate healing of the ecosystems...in the areas of Central Texas recently damaged by wildfires."

 

From the Image Gallery


Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Purpletop tridens
Tridens flavus

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants to hold a slope in NY
May 17, 2010 - We recently built a house (on a hillside) and now are having some drainage issues on a fairly steep slope (a small creek is forming in the swale the excavator made "deal" with the drainage). Yester...
view the full question and answer

Types of Eragrostis lovegrasses that will survive in Northern Wisconsin
May 21, 2007 - I am interested in plains lovegrass, and know that it primarily grows in southern climates. Do you think it could thrive in northern Wisconsin if it is planted in a protected area? Could it survive ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Muhly grass in late summer from Wimberley TX
August 02, 2012 - Can I transplant Muhly grass in July/August?
view the full question and answer

Reconsideration of previous question from Hays County TX
February 21, 2014 - QUESTION: Please reconsider this question that I sent to you last week. Our home address is in Bastrop County, but the Blanco River property that we own is in Hays County near Wimberley. Our proper...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for East Texas that require no mowing or watering
June 16, 2010 - What native grass can I grow in deep East Texas that would require no supplemental watering and no mowing?
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