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

Native Grasses for Quebec
August 21, 2014 - I saw an article in the Martha Stewart magazine on native grasses. I live in Canada in Rimouski, in the province of Quebec. I am wondering if native grasses would grow here in the region? Our hardine...
view the full question and answer

Keeping non-native invasive bermudagrass out of yard in Austin
May 30, 2012 - My neighbor just sodded a huge lawn with Bermuda Celebration. I don't want it coming into my St. Augustine. From what I've read on your site and others, I need a deep barrier. Has anyone tried pu...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for East Texas
May 14, 2012 - We live in east Texas, right on the beginning of the piney words, the soil is a little sandy. We have taken up a wooden walkway but can't get anything to grow there. Could the soil be dead from year ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a bank in PA
April 28, 2012 - I live in Landisburg, PA, (zone 6). I need to find some ground cover for a primarily full sun bank that is roughly 10-12' down over the embankment and up to 100' long. This area wraps around our po...
view the full question and answer

Non-native smoketree for California City, CA
June 28, 2010 - I was wondering if you could tell me if it would be a good or bad idea to plant a Smoke Tree (most likely European) in the vicinity of a septic tank. We are looking for something which will provide a...
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center