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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - January 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Wildflowers
Title: Preparing for planting wildflower meadow in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are in the midst of prepping beds for wildflower plantings in the spring. We spent the last month pulling up our existing lawn and invasive grasses so we are now wondering how to secure the beds for the next few months until we can plant wildflower seeds. Do we put a weed barrier down and then plant wildflower seeds above? If so, how much soil would we need on top of the weed barrier? Or, should we place some plastic down for now until we can plant in the spring? I am concerned about the invasive grasses returning and then needing to spend additional time removing them again. Thank you for your time, Shannon Wise

ANSWER:

We are a little puzzled about the best way to answer your question because, ordinarily, wildflowers are planted in the Fall in Central Texas. For example, bluebonnets are already producing rosettes from the seeds they dropped in late Summer, and will be blooming before February 1. It is always advisable to plant seeds at approximately the same time as the parent plant would have been dropping those seeds.

So, since some very good material has already been written by people smarter than we are about this kind of gardening, we are going to refer you to some information from the Wildflower Center and other sources on Meadow Gardening, which is what we believe you want to do. You may have to revise your timing or change your plant selection in order to fit in with the needs of native wildflowers, but once you get everything going, it should work out. This is a lot of reading with some repetition, but we hope you will take advantage of it. Here are some of the references we would like you to look at:

How-To Articles:

A guide to native plant gardening

Caring for your new native plants

Gardening Timeline

How to grow bluebonnets

Large scale wildflower planting - getting started

Meadow gardening

Seed collecting and storage

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants Answers:

Getting rid of invasive grasses

Eliminating grasses for native plants

Replacing grass with native grasses and wildflowers

 

 

More Meadow Gardens Questions

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
March 04, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live on the west side of Interstate 35 in Round Rock. I have a very sick St. Augustine lawn that I would like to replace with some sort of wildflower mix. I like the look of...
view the full question and answer

Revegetation of school site with meadow plants from Austin
December 23, 2013 - We are revegetating a hill country school site (typical calciferous soil stripped of vegetation & minimal topsoil) with a native seed mix equal to Native American Seed "Meadow Mix". We have an abund...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Wildseed Planting in a drought
September 14, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought and no rain in the near future in central Texas would it be prudent to have a wildseed planting in October?
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