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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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