Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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 - October 02, 2012

From: Hico, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Lawn grass for Erath County, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Erath County in TX on ranch land. We are relatively dry. Our soil is combination of clay and red soil (brought in for building pad), and sandy. We have a sloped area, about 30%, that we want lawn grass on and it gets sun most of the day. We have a sprinkler system in, but over 10 yrs. have lost all grass there. We would like to sod to avoid the sprinkler system. Any suggestions of what type?

ANSWER:

Habiturf™, developed at the Wildflower Center and composed of Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass), sounds like the perfect turf for your area.   Its advantages over non-native turf grasses are that, after established, it requires very little water, needs infrequent mowing and no fertilizer.   The only way to establish a Habiturf™ lawn at this time, however, is by seeds available from the Wildflower Center (see the Habiturf™ page) or from Douglass King Company in San Antonio.   Native American Seed in Junction has a similar seed mix called Thunder Turf.  Please see our How to Article, Native Lawns:  Habiturf™–The Ecological Lawn, to learn how to prepare your site and plant and maintain this lawngrass mixture.  Native American Seed also has an article, Planting Tips for Native Lawns, that is helpful.  Also, be sure to watch the video on the Habiturf™ page.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for a Narrow Fence Line in TN
February 03, 2015 - I have a very specific and difficult planting question. I have a narrow strip (about 2 feet at the widest) between my back privacy fence and a wire fence that marks the edge of my property. It is dire...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Austin
March 24, 2014 - I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling Groundcover for Phenix AL
March 30, 2014 - Hi I am trying to find a grass or ground cover to control erosion on firing range berms which are 1:1 grade on a firing range outside of Phenix City AL. Sandy clay soil, direct sunlight almost all day...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for a NC Clay Slope
June 06, 2013 - Hi, We have a large slope on the road edge of our property that has been gradually eroding with spring rains (NC red clay). We would really like to plant something for erosion control but the bank is...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Lighthouse Point FL
April 13, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am looking for mowable ground cover for part of my back yard. Due to a Mahogany tree, a hammock, surrounding foliage and a fence, there is alot of shade in the area, alon...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.