En EspaÑol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 04, 2012

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Planting, Grasses or Grass-like, Wildflowers
Title: Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medians and right of ways). It is also partially shaded, but can certainly get 6 hours / day of sun. Is it possible to overseed with native grasses like buffalo and blue grama or does the weedy vegetation need to be removed to successfully replace with the native grasses?

ANSWER:

Would that it were that easy. Unfortunately, newly seeded native grasses need weeding, watering and soil preparation before they can prosper. The yellow, flowering plant you are seeing is Bastard Cabbage, which has been much in the news lately. If you possibly can, dig or pull it out. It can, of course, be mowed, but that would eliminate the seeding phase of the wildflowers and grasses you want to encourage. And, if you mow bastard cabbage, it will pop right back up, run along the ground and quickly get some fresh flowers to produce seed. What you want to do is prevent it seeding, of course, and pulling out root and all is the only way to do that, and you will still get seeds blowing iin from other properties.

First, a newsclip from one of the Austin tv stations on bastard cabbage, because anyone who can lay their hands on it needs to do just that, and cause a whole lot of damage to the plant. Otherwise, the rest of our answer is useless.

How-To Articles:

Native Lawns: Buffalo Grass.

Meadow Gardening

Recreating a Prairie

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Locating wildflowers for school project in March
January 27, 2005 - I have been assigned a school project to collect 10 wildflowers by March. I don't see any around to collect this time of year. Do you know where I could find some? I live in San Antonio.
view the full question and answer

Illegal to pick roadside wildflowers from Vilonia AR
May 11, 2013 - Is it illegal to pick roadside wildflowers in Arkansas?
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
August 26, 2004 - This year's strange summer weather has lead to a very unusual event. I have a second bloom on my Bluebonnet garden. I first noticed the blooms last week, and contacted my local nursery to confirm the...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of Meremia dissecta from Austin
September 30, 2012 - I have a large quantity of seeds of Merremia dissecta that I acquired from plants growing in the parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art. (Hmmm… I wonder if it's called alamo vine because of som...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in Colorado mountains
April 21, 2007 - Will Bluebonnets grow up in Colorado in the mountains?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center