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Mr. Smarty Plants - Possible low maintenance native plants for acreage in Manor, TX

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Sunday - October 22, 2006

From: Manor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Possible low maintenance native plants for acreage in Manor, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My husband and I recently bought 3 acres of former cow pasture in Manor and plan to build our dream home there eventually. Other than a few pesky Mesquite trees and one huge cactus, there isn't much on the land now. We would like to spread some seeds once the weather cools off and hope that something will grow. We don't plan to build anything on the land for a few years, so there is no water source, but we are hoping that some native grasses, trees, and shrubs might be hardy enough to make it on their own. Can you suggest anything that might work? Thanks!

ANSWER:

A good place to start is to visit our Native Plant Library and read the articles there, especially "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting". Fall is a great time of year to sow seeds for wildflowers and grasses. Growing shrubs and trees from seeds planted directly in the soil is a little trickier than sowing lots of small grass and wildflower seeds. You might be more successful planting shrub and tree seeds in pots and then transferring the seedlings to your property. Unless you can water the shrub and tree seedlings until they are established, this may be something you want to plant when you are actually there and can watch and water them when they need it.

Here are some suggestions for wildflower and grass seeds to sow:

GRASSES
Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)
Hairy Grama (Bouteloua hirsuta)
Texas Grama (Bouteloua rigidiseta)
Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides)
Plains Lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia)
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

WILDFLOWERS
Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) blooms March-April
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) blooms April-June
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) blooms May-June
Horsemint (Monarda citriodora) blooms May-July
Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera) blooms May-December
Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) blooms May-September
Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata) blooms August-December
Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) blooms March-May
Pink Evening-primrose (Oenothera speciosa) blooms March-July

As you will read in our article "Wildflower Meadow Gardening", we don't generally recommend planting seed mixes. However, Native Trail Mix from Native American Seeds in Junction is a mix that includes grasses and wildflowers that will do well in your Manor location in the Blackland Prairie. You can find other Texas native seed companies by visiting our National Suppliers Directory.

 

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