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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Monday - May 14, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Weeds in Habiturf from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We had our old lawn removed, tilled, laid compost, and Habiturf seed spread. I'm not sure if the man we contracted to do the work didn't adequately remove the old weed debris when he prepared the lawn, but we already have invasive weeds and it seems that the Habiturf seeds are sprouting very slowly, if at all. The weeds are too numerous to hand pull although I'm after them like the dickens. Is there anything we can do to get the weeds under control? I'm afraid they are crowding out the seed growth.

ANSWER:

Someone we know who installed Habiturf said he watched everything the contractors did and made sure they followed the specific instructions. This is a new development in grasses, from a team led by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and not a lot of contractors understand what is required. Here is a short movie of the correct process, which was made as a Habiturf lawn was installed in the Homeowner's Gardens in the Wildflower Center.

Also, if you have not done so already, we suggest you read this article from our How-To section on Native Lawns: Habiturf - The Ecological Lawn.

Bottom line: If the area was not properly prepared, it is going to be a struggle, but the finished product is worth it. Keep weeding, do the recommended amount of watering, don't fertilize and don't spray herbicides.

 

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