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

Tuesday - March 20, 2012

From: dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Need help with lawn that was sodded with Buffalo Grass in Dallas, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I had buffalo sod put down last March. It greened up beautifully until weeds just about covered it up. I tried hand pulling. My landscaper showed up with something that appeared to damage the buffalo grass as much as the weeds. Continued hand weeding. This spring I have massive weeds again. There is still some buffalo grass there, but it will be completely eradicated if I do not find something to kill the unwanted grass and weeds. apprx 2000 sq feet of sod. Help! What can I put on it.


Mr. Smarty Plants is sorry to hear you are having trouble with your Buffalo Grass. It holds promise for an eco-friendly  lawn when the installation is successful.

You didn’t mention the names of the weeds you are battling, so without that information, I am at a loss as what to recommend to put on it. I suggest that you contact the folks at the Dallas County office of Texas AgriLife Extension who can look at the lawn, identify the weeds, and suggest possible treatments. In addition, you can get  more information from our How to Article on the planting and care of Buffalo Grass.

Dr. Mark Simmons, the Director of our Ecosystem Design Group, offers these observations on Buffalo Grass sod:

1. sod often is a great way to import weeds (particularly nut sedge)

2. Sod is usually installed on poorly prepared ground which leads to buffalo turf which is weed prone

3. Weeds will proliferate if buffalo is mowed too short. or too much fertilizer is used


More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Removing grass under oak trees in Pflugerville TX
August 30, 2009 - I would like to use the newspaper-and-mulch method to smother grass under the canopy of live oaks, a bur oak, and a lacey oak so that I can plant natives that will thrive there. However, I'm concern...
view the full question and answer

Can fibrous roots of Chasmanthium latifolium damage house foundation
May 03, 2013 - Dear Mr.Ms. S-P, Can the fibrous roots of inland sea oats cause foundation problems? I was digging around my foundation and found a root about 1" in diameter that I am afraid might be from sea oa...
view the full question and answer

Survival of native lawn in Hockley TX
August 02, 2011 - I'm on the edge of the Katy Prairie and a very large ranch with full blasting sun and completely open exposure. The soil is fill from the developers with more clay than sand, a minimum of nutrients,...
view the full question and answer

Grasses to stabilize creek bed in Bastrop County, Texas
May 06, 2011 - Hello, we have property in Bastrop county, the soil is sandy loam with clay underneath. We need to stabilize a creek bed, can you suggest any particular grasses (seed) for this? Know it's not the be...
view the full question and answer

Native Grass is Falling Over
November 09, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've tried to find this answer but am stumped as to the cause. We live in Fredericksburg, TX and have several different tall grasses, Yellow Indian grass, Little Bluestem, wire...
view the full question and answer

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