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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

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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Sunday - February 24, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Problem Plants
Title: Controlling sandburs from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, What is the best way to prevent sticker burrs from growing in a rocky bed with no grass. There are many other plants we want to preserve and a drip line to keep them watered. We have 2 small kids and a dog that like to explore the yard, any help is appreciated.

ANSWER:

Believe it or not, you are not the first person to have this problem, and you certainly won't be the last. See this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on dealing with Cenchrus spinifex (Coastal sandbur). The key advice is GET THEM BEFORE THEY GET YOU! Certainly if you see one with burs on it, it is already spreading seeds for its next generation, that's when you need the leather gloves. But if you can learn what they look like in the early spring and zap them then, you are steps ahead of them.

 

From the Image Gallery


Grass bur
Cenchrus spinifex

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