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

Water eroding corner in Austin
October 25, 2011 - I live close to the Wildflower Center. My yard slopes - as do my neighbors' yards to one corner in my yard. The result is constant moisture in one corner. The rest of the yard is caliche, rocks (m...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to esperanza in pot from Brady TX
December 10, 2009 - My esperanza, currently in a container, has suffered some freeze damage. I have prepared a planting spot for it and am not sure whether to plant now, trim it back if I do plant it, etc. I would appr...
view the full question and answer

Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
January 15, 2009 - I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
view the full question and answer

Native water plants for bio-retention pond in North Carolina
July 22, 2009 - I am looking for North Carolina native plants that can take part shade and very wet conditions (bioretention pond environment). Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of replacing Bermudagrass with native grasses and wildflowers
November 24, 2008 - Are there any native grasses and wildflowers that can compete with bermuda grass to make a nativ-y wild area without removing the bermuda?
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