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

Do I need to cover my Habiturf planting with straw?
March 02, 2012 - I'm preparing to seed the Habiturf in my front yard in a couple of weeks. My dad has suggested I spread some straw to help protect the seeds. Your thoughts? Thanks!!!
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix for Bastrop County, TX
February 25, 2014 - I plan to put in a small lawn on a tract of land near Rosanky, TX in Bastrop County. There are scattered oaks but the yard space will be mostly open. Soil is basically sandy. Is there a good native...
view the full question and answer

Grass for a Miniature Garden
July 18, 2013 - Please let me know what kind of grass is nice and short and tight for a miniature garden in a wooden box. I want to grow this grass in the box and I also want to know if I need to drill holes in the b...
view the full question and answer

Planting creeping phlox for a groundcover
June 13, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Southwestern PA (zip code 15065). I have a small slope on my property that is hard for me to mow. I would like to cover it with creeping phlox, which I saw on t...
view the full question and answer

Want to replace lawn in Ecorse, Michigan.
May 04, 2014 - Hi! I want to replace my lawn, and not have to mow it much at all. What would you suggest? It will be walked on and utilized as a normal lawn. Thanks!
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