En EspaŅol

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
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

Monday - April 16, 2012

From: Willow City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Watering, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Interaction of Habiturf and St. Augustine grasses from Willow City TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How does Habiturf and St. Augustine interact? Does one dominate the other? Can you plant them in close areas? Thank you.

ANSWER:

The first thing we need to establish is that Habiturf is made up of a mix of seeds native to Central Texas, well adapted to our climate, and drought-resistant. St. Augustine grass is native to western Africa, and is a high maintenance, high water use grass that tolerates shade.

Habiturf has been developed by a team headed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. As with everything we recommend, it is native to North America and also to Central Texas. St. Augustine is, obviously non-native and we certainly don't recommend it at all, especially with our drought conditions and water restrictions in Central Texas.

How would they interact? In a hypothetical situation, with them growing side by side, the Habiturf would not do well in a shady situation, and the St. Augustine would burn up without lots of watering in the sun. If they were watered as little as the Habiturf required, the St. Augustine would burn up. If they were watered sufficiently for the St. Augustine, the Habiturf would not tolerate it. Neither would be dominant except in its own type of environment.

We are suggesting to people who have a lot of shade in their yards that they get over the need for turf. You can find shade-tolerant ground covers, use decomposed granite and plant shade tolerant succulents, or a nice layer of a good-quality mulch over the area. Mulch is attractive, smells good, helps keep weeds down, insulates roots from heat and cold and, as it decomposes, improves the soil beneath it, turning into compost.

Here are two articles that can give you more information:

Native Lawns

Native Lawns: Habiturf - The Ecological Lawn

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Poor drainage in clay soils in Langhorne PA
September 15, 2009 - Our backyard has very poor drainage, to the point of up to 3 inches of rain can sit until it is evaporated. Talking to neighbors, they informed us that there use to be a terrain that ran through our ...
view the full question and answer

Desert willows not doing well in Navarro County, TX
May 16, 2009 - Planted 3 new desert willows , 3-4 ft.in February. Live in East Navarro County and soil is clay with slight slope to Richland Chambers lake area. Had a wet spring. These plantings appear not doing we...
view the full question and answer

When and how to transplant a Texas persimmon
January 02, 2009 - When and how should I transplant a 12' Texas persimmon? How much root ball do I need to get?
view the full question and answer

Failure of tall garden phlox buds to open in St. Louis MO
July 30, 2009 - Why won't the buds of my tall garden phlox open? Plants are apparently healthy, no powdery mildew or visible insects, foliage looks great and buds are profuse but they don't open. I have two clumps ...
view the full question and answer

Use of cedar/juniper mulch in wildflower meadows
August 31, 2013 - What to do with freshly shredded cedar/juniper mulch? We have a pile of freshly ground cedar mulch that we can either keep in a large pile until it has composted(but the neighbors are complaining), or...
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