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?


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 - February 10, 2012

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils
Title: What is the application rate for dried molasses in Leander, TX??
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I bought dry molasses to add to my soil but the bag doesn't say anything about how much to add. Should I just sprinkle it around and it doesn't matter if it is more or less? I have 2.25 acres so I bought a 50lb bag to start.


Dry or dried molasses is a soil building product, and is used to quickly stimulate microbes in the soil and give an indirect benefit of fertility. It also in many cases will run fire ants off the property. It should be used at 10 - 20 lbs. per 1000 sq ft. It can also be beneficial on acreage at rates as low as 100 - 200 lbs. per acre. You may need to recall your algebra skills to see how much you need.

Here’s some help:  1 acre = 43,560 sq ft.
If you use the 10 - 20 lb/ 1,000 sq ft rate; 10 - 20 lbs/ 1,000 sq ft x 43,560 sq ft / acre x 2.25 acres = 980 - 1,960 lbs.

if you use the lower application rate; 100 - 200 lbs/acre x 2.25 acres = 225 - 500 lbs of molasses. Either way, you are going to need to go back to the store.

This link to dirtdoctor.com has more information about using dry molasses.


More Soils Questions

Is California fan palm found on Edwards Plateau from Austin
January 18, 2013 - Is the following Palm, Washingtonia filifera, found in the Texas Hill Country, specifically the Edwards Plateau or Balcones Canyonlands NWR.
view the full question and answer

Planting Mountain Laurel grown from seeds in Argentina
April 09, 2014 - Hello, I was transferred to Cordoba, Argentina 2 years ago from San Antonio, the climate hereis similar to S. TX, anyway I brought some mountain laurel seeds with me and they have been in 2 gallon pot...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Need help growing plants in red dirt in Mount Pleasant, NC.
September 17, 2011 - I live in N.C. and I have had the hardest time getting plants to grow;I have red dirt at my house. Can you suggest a few colorful plants that would do real well in red dirt? Thank You So Very Much!!!!...
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center