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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - November 09, 2011

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Additional screening under yaupons in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on a corner and have a berm along the south side of our yard which blocks our backyard from the street. It was planted with uprights yaupons. With the drought, deer have eaten the bottom portion of the yaupons, and our backyard is no longer screened. What would you suggest we plant under the yaupons to fill in the gaps?

ANSWER:

The deer have really been a factor in all kinds of plantings during this drought year. They have to eat, too, and will eventually get around to just about anything they can reach, including some plants on our Deer-Resistant Species list. Although there are a number of plants that would fill in that space beneath the nibbled yaupons, there's really not much use putting resources into something that is promptly going to be munched. Also, there is the issue of shade from the yaupons or perhaps other vegetation or walls.

We are going to our Deer-Resistant Species list, select on Texas and "grasses/grasslike" under Habit. We also selected on Height, 3 to 6 ft. Each one on this is list is considered highly deer resistant. Deer don't graze grass much, anyway, and several of these have sharp-edged leaves. Follow each plant link to find out what kind of sun exposure each needs, whether they are evergreen and how to propagate. Another good thing about grasses is that they have long fibrous roots that will help stabilize your berm.

Aristida purpurea (Purple threeawn)

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly)

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feathergrass)

Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Purple threeawn
Aristida purpurea

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Mexican feathergrass
Nassella tenuissima

Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

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