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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - December 19, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Burning back Gulf Muhly instead of trimming from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

A few years ago I noticed that the Center burned back its Gulf Muhly rather than cutting it back. Did that study result in any conclusions or recommendations?

ANSWER:

From Joe Marcus, the Wildflower Center's Collections Manager and a member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team:

"We’ve had so much rain lately that most burn bans have been lifted, at least temporarily.  You’d have a hard time getting anything at all to burn outside right now.

Gulf muhly has responded well to burning for us.  You would want to burn it – carefully, of course, in January or February."

We want to caution that this is the situation now. We are expecting more drought and heat, so use common sense-if everything around is tinder dry, the wind is blowing or there is other vegetation close by, we recommend NO FIRE, but hand shearing the grass. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Wildflowers planted in Pittsfield, IL to bloom the first of October
July 01, 2010 - If I plant my wildflower seeds now in Illinois, is it possible they will bloom in three months (by the very beginning of October)?
view the full question and answer

Moving a red oak away from the house foundation
January 24, 2008 - About a 3 weeks ago I noticed a 5 ft. red oak growing in my flower bed. I hadn't noticed it growing up through my shrubs until the leaves turned bright red. The problem is that its coming up about tw...
view the full question and answer

When to plant in Austin
November 02, 2010 - I own a small landscaping business in the Austin area, and we are admittedly learning every day, but trying to do the right thing. We are knowledgeable about the sun, water, soil requirements for a v...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in memorial garden in cemetery
April 11, 2008 - When is the peak time to scatter bluebonnet seeds? I have a loved one that recently died, and she requested that her body be cremated. She would like her ashes to be mixed with bluebonnet seeds and ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Trees in OH
May 10, 2012 - Is the middle of May too late to dig out Arborviteas and spruces to transplant? I live in central Ohio.
view the full question and answer

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