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

Saturday - December 31, 2011

From: Collegeville, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?

ANSWER:

There are two plants referred to by the common name "chickweed:" Stellaria media, common chickweed, and Cerastium glomeratum, sticky chickweed. This website from the University of California Integrated Pest Management on Chickweed will give you more information on the habits of the plant as well as means of control. The species are quite similar and both are native to Eurasia; therefore, they will not appear in our Native Plant Database. Although the plant is non-native, it nevertheless grows in every state in North America, as well as most of the Canadian provinces as you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map.

As best as we were able to understand, it does its major growing in early Spring, and that is the most effective time to be weeding it out of the ground. We are assuming you are referring to planting lawn grasses which, when mature, should be taller than the approximately 4" height of the chickweed, and can therefore shade out the invasive weed. We are unfamiliar with the lawn grasses in Pennsylvania and would suggest you contact the Penn State Extension Office for Montgomery County. They should have information either online or in printed form on lawn grasses for your area, including when and how they should be planted.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Controlling weeds in Habiturf lawn
May 16, 2015 - What's the best way to get rid of weeds in a Habiturf lawn? Habiturf seems like a great idea, but even with no extra water and no fertilizer, it seems the weeds take over - K.R. Bluestem and various...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) for Ontario, Canada
June 17, 2009 - Is there a grower/distributor of Buffalo Grass in Canada? I want to seed it soon. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Plants for erosion control in Pittsburgh, PA
August 22, 2009 - I have a terraced high side lot(front of house). I currently have Yuccas growing, but they are too invasive. Can you suggest plants, shrubs, or ground covers that are not as invasive and will still ...
view the full question and answer

Finding Connecticut grasses on website from NY City
January 28, 2012 - Your site w/ all its varied aids are great, and your answers are so helpful, so I don't want to seem critical with this question. I trained as a landscape architect in the Northeast 20 years ago a...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012 - I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
view the full question and answer

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