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

Sunday - January 22, 2012

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch
Title: Spreading compost from Kyle TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm trying to find if there is some type of "implement" to help spread compost in my yard that is easier than a shovel and rake. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

Speaking from considerable personal experience with compost, this particular member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team has some suggestions:

For openers, drag or push it as little as possible, especially over plants that could be uprooted by dragging equipment of any kind. Our favorite tool is a rake used tines side up, so that you are spreading without the spikes coming in contact with the plant. The second tool is what we have always called a "lawn broom." Sometimes we see small ones referred to as "shrub rakes," because they are narrow and can be used to work under shrubbery. They have long tines, spread out and without a pulling edge on them like rakes. The plastic ones are gentler on plants.

As much as you can, deliver compost close to an area you wish to cover, using a wheelbarrow or even large scoops. The less distance you have to pull compost, the better. We tried to find something online with illustrations of what we are talking about, but they all seemed to be heavily into shovels. Just take a trip into the lawn and garden department of hardware or home improvement stores, and hopefully you will see a tool that will work better for you.

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Esperanza failing to bloom in Odessa TX
September 01, 2009 - I have 3 Esperanza plants that have not bloomed this spring/summer. I live in Odessa, TX. We had about 5 inches of rain in July in one week (very unusual), but they have not bloomed-before or after. ...
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for clay soil in Leavenworth IN
October 02, 2009 - I live in south central Indiana; the soil is very bad clay, either hard as a rock or mud. I have made several raised beds but am still having problems with plants rotting. What types of plants work he...
view the full question and answer

Removal of previously-planted perennials
July 23, 2008 - HI I JUST MOVED INTO A NEW HOUSE THIS YEAR THE PREVIOUS OWNERS PLANTED A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL PERENNIALS BUT I WANTED TO PLANT OVER ONE OF THE PERENNIALS THAT I REALLY DO NOT CARE FOR. IS THAT POSSIBLE? I...
view the full question and answer

Eastern redcedar uprooted by snow in Arlington, TX
February 14, 2010 - During the recent snowstorm one of our juniperus virginiana fell over with the rootball looking intact and with a lot of soil all around it.Should we try to save it? It is approximately 20 feet tall ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center