En Español

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

Friday - January 20, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Will Habiturf work in Houston?
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

I am looking to plant the parking strip between the sidewalk and street - about 6-7 feet wide. Would Habiturf work in Houston. The webside lists areas of Texas, but wasn't sure if Houston was included.

ANSWER:

I talked with Mark Simmons, the Director of the Ecosystem Design Group here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, who is in charge of the Habiturf development and research.  He says that Habiturf hasn't yet been researched for growing in the Houston area; but, he says that if the soil in the strip has good drainage, it might work just fine.  Since Houston's average annual rainfall is a little over 51 inches and Austin's (where the grass has mostly been tested) is around 33 inches, your soil is more likely to become saturated and that doesn't work well for this mix of grasses that normally grows in the drier soils of the more western part of Texas.   Additionally, the extra moisture would encourage the growth of weeds.  The native mix is successful in out-competing weeds in drier soils, but with more water is not likely to be as successful.  So, if your soil has good drainage, or you can make it so, and you are willing to pull a few weeds until the grass is well-established, I'd say "go for it" as long as the area gets 1 to 6 hours of sun per day (defined as part shade).  The mixture is not successful in full shade. 

The good news is that research into turf-type grasses native to the coastal region is in the planning stage.  Hopefully, we will soon have native turf grasses specific to your area to recommend.

 

More Turf Questions

Low maintenance, water and height lawn
September 10, 2007 - We would like to replace our lawn that covers a large area of our front and back yard and is watered daily and twice a day in summertime with drought resistant plants. Mr. Smarty Plants, could you rec...
view the full question and answer

Native Grass Lawn For Georgia
January 20, 2015 - Grass in Atlanta when I was little (I am 50 years old and have lived in Atlanta most of my life) was of a fescue variety. Bermuda grasses were considered "rich person's grass" when I was young. M...
view the full question and answer

Grass for sunny Texas lawn
February 28, 2009 - We lost our front yard(bermuda) last summer/fall due to grubs(we think). When and what type of grass seed do we do this spring to plant a new yard? We can't afford to lay sod. It's mostly sunny. We ...
view the full question and answer

Removal of chickweed from lawns
April 06, 2007 - How do I get Cerastium arvense L. - field chickweed out of my lawn? How can I kill them without hurting my grass? I don't have a clue as to how they got into my lawn, but my lawn is the only one on...
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center