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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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Friday - February 15, 2013

From: Cibolo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: What is a lawn broom from Cibolo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Concerning gulf muhly grass you mention using a lawn broom to get rid of the dead stalks. What is a lawn broom? What does it look like? Where can I purchase one?

ANSWER:

It's basically a rake, but it has a triangular-shaped group of thin, long tines, usually with a bend near the bottom. I may be the only person in the Free World to use that term, but it just always seemed to suit. I tried searching on that term but came up empty. Then I found an article from Popular Mechanics and Item No. 3 on that page is what I was describing. I think you can get the same kind of tool in different shapes. I would suggest a Home Depot or Loew's. You might not find the exact same thing but think of it as a comb. The long somewhat flexible tines will pull out the dead stalks of the grass without breaking the new stalks. Remember to prune the grass down some and then get the prunings out of the plant. Some companies refer to "rake teeth" instead of "tines," but these are not teeth, more like metal or plastic brooms, thus the term I use.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

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