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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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Sunday - September 30, 2012

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Nutgrass in Lakeway TX Habiturf
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I just installed a new septic system with drip field. Planted habiturf over the whole area. The habiturf is doing good, but I was away for a while and the nut grass has taken over several areas. It seem it will take days to hand pull it all, Any help PLEASE

ANSWER:

Sorry,  I did a survey to see if there was ever an answer other than "you just have to get down and pull it" – and it doesn’t look so.  Here is that survey of previous answers, and you’ll see a significant trend.

How to get rid of nut grass from San Antonio
Removing nut grass and wild strawberry in Vienna VA
Elimination of nutgrass
Elimination of nutgrass from native flower bed

It’s explained much better in these previous posts, but in essence the nutgrass propagation from rhizomes and nodules is so efficient that the only thing that really works is to keep pulling them up until the roots starve, it even shakes off the nastier pesticides that we don't recommend.  Since you let them get ahead – you’ll need to work a bit harder for a while until you’re in control again!

Mr Smarty Plants would come to Lakeway and give you some help, but Mrs Smarty Plants says he’s useless.  Just check out my facebook photos and you’ll see that pulling grass is not my forte.  You may consider using Mrs Smarty Plants’ Tom Sawyerish solution.  She invites a whole bunch of Wildflower friends [who have a strange concept of “fun”] over for a nutgrass pulling party.  Support them  with some cold drinks, music and maybe good food afterwards and you’ll find yourself in a much better position versus the nutgrass.  You might even offer a prize for “longest root”.  Doing this after the rain we are getting right now will make the soil looser and weeding should be a bit easier.

Here's some  wildflower pictures as we don't need to look at any more nutgrass!

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Hill country rain lily
Cooperia pedunculata

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

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