Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - March 19, 2013

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Turf
Title: How to control Yellow Woodsorrel in Habiturf?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Last year we planted Habiturf in our front lawn and prepared the ground as directed with organic compost. This year we have an infestation of low growing yellow oxalis which we believe came in with the compost as we have not had this before. What do you recommend as a control? as weeding will not get all of it and the areas are large. We are considering using an herbicide knowing it will knock out our grass but then we will reseed.

ANSWER:

Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis stricta, and Slender Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis dillenii, both North American natives, are often unwanted visitors in lawns, especially newly-establish or unhealthy lawns.  As your lawn matures and develops a denser stand of grass, broadleaf weeds like Wood Sorrel will be less of an issue.  Promoting healthy grass growth will eventually pay off in reduced weed infestation.

There are broadleaf herbicides labeled for use on oxalis.  These chemicals are specific to dicot weeds and will not kill grasses and other monocots if used properly.  We take neither a pro nor con stance on garden chemicals, but only urge those choosing to use them to do so in a manner that is safest for them and the environment and to strictly adhere to label directions.

Other than hand weeding, we know of no effective organic control for Oxalis species.

 

More Turf Questions

Low-growing lawn substitute for Pennsylvania
March 19, 2008 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants Please help. We are moving to an old farm house in Western Pennsylvania with several acres of lawn. Our plan is to return much of the land to wildlife friendly meadows and woo...
view the full question and answer

Native lawn grass for El Paso
April 24, 2011 - I am new to the El Paso area and my front and back yards are currently mostly dirt with a tiny bit of dying (thank goodness) bermuda grass. I want to seed both yards with something that will grow well...
view the full question and answer

Las Vegas lawn grass for Dallas
February 13, 2009 - Dear Smarty Plants, Every time we go to Las Vegas I admire the beautiful grass in the lawns of most of the strip casinos. It looks like a fescue but it is just as beautiful on the hottest summer day...
view the full question and answer

Mixing of bluebonnets and buffalograss in a lawn
April 22, 2007 - I have moved into a house with a yard full of weeds. I would like to plant Buffalograss but understand Buffalograss is sparce and difficult to keep the weeds out. So, I was considering mixing it wit...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses and turf grass for VA
February 08, 2012 - I recently moved to Blacksburg, Virginia. I am becoming involved with a church here that recently started a grounds committee. There is some discussion within the group of which varieties of native ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.