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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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Thursday - March 28, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the inflorescence now I expect seeds to set mid April?

ANSWER:

If you can schedule your volunteer event prior to early May, you'll do more good than waiting until then.  As you know, bastard cabbage (Rapistrum rugosum) is flowering now and it will soon set seed.  If you intend to cut or pull, remove and destroy the plants, then you will do more good than if you simply leave the plant lay where they are.  Early May might be too late for the latter scenario.  Pulling the plants, though much more difficult, is more effective than cutting the tops since this species will resprout and flower again after being cut.

 

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