En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 07, 2013

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Weedy buffalo grass from Dripping Springs, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a buffalo grass lawn. It is thin and filled with weeds. I would like to find a solution to improve my lawn. I prefer a native grass but I need to be able to control the weeds and I am not physically capable of pulling the endless supply I have. How do I get it looking good and weedless? Do I need to replace it and if so, with what?

ANSWER:

First, let us refer you to a recent Mr. Smarty Plants question on a very similar subject for a very similar reason.

Now, from our How-To Articles, read this article on Native Lawns: Buffalograss. We note you are in Central Texas in an area which should be hospitable to buffalograss, so we suggest you read that how-to article and compare what you are doing and have been doing that may not match what the article recommends.

The first thing we noticed in that article is the information that Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)  is not tolerant of shade. We consider "sun" plants to require 6 hours or more a day of sunlight. If you have trees or structures that are shading your lawn, that could certainly explain the thinness of the grass.

Although as you will note from the first picture below, buffalograss sometimes coexists with flowering "weeds," that is, native wildflowers. Mowing these before they have the opportunity to set seeds will cut down on the annual intruders, but the wildflowers can add color and softness to your garden.

Or you can get really serious about getting rid of lawns and see our previous Mr. Smarty Plants article on xeriscaping.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Habiturf for shady areas in San Antonio TX
November 08, 2013 - Will the Habiturf grass mentioned here do well in shady areas too?
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) for horse pastures
February 04, 2008 - Can Buffalo Grass be used for browse for horse pastures?
view the full question and answer

Stream Bank Erosion Control for Bryan/College Station
August 16, 2012 - I live in the Bryan/College Station area and need a ground cover to abate erosion on the bank of an intermittent stream. The bank is shaded. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Narrow strip of groundcover from Sonora TX
April 29, 2013 - I have an area that is right under my patio about 12 feet by 1 ft. I'm looking for something to plant in there. It has afternoon sun, morning shade. I live in SW Texas so it is hot. but would like so...
view the full question and answer

Plants for edge of pond
June 23, 2008 - We live in Atlanta, Texas. My husband built a beautiful pond that is almost an acre in size. We are fortunate in that one side of the pond is covered by trees and a natural ground cover that keeps w...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center