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

Tuesday - April 02, 2013

From: Heath , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Starting over on a lawn in Heath TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Unless one counts dichondra as grass I have more weeds than grass in my yard.I have hand pulled the weeds and used an organic program without success. The soil is a hard clay typical of North Texas. I need suggestions about how to proceed this spring. I'm considering tearing out the lawn and starting over. There is a sick mixture of bermuda grass and St. Augustine growing feebly among the weeds. Suggestions about how to proceed will be welcome

ANSWER:

Actually,  non-native bermudagrass is so invasive that it is considered one of the worst weeds in the South, and non-native St. Augustine needs so much water that it is definitely not a good thing in Texas, so we are not that sorry you are about to give up on them both. We have received several questions from gardeners saying they are so over grass.

However, for gardeners in some parts of Texas, including North Texas, Kaufman and Rockwall Counties, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has developed a mix of native grasses into a sustainable lawn, called Habiturf. Please follow the link to our article about this grass mix, and then follow all the links within it and watch the video. It does best if it is planted during the Spring, so now would be a good time to be thinking about it. It requires sun about 50% of the day, so if your yard is heavily shaded you might want to consider our next suggestion - xeriscaping. From eartheasy, see this article on ways to xeriscape.

Begin with this previous Mr. Smarty Plants question on a non-grass solution for a problem space. Follow the links in this answer also. This particular area is in Austin where the homeowner did not particularly want a lawn grass.

Hopefully, this will give you two avenues to "starting over," one to a different grass and one to a different type of garden.

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover under live oaks
June 18, 2012 - I have some areas under Live Oak trees (maybe 200 sq. ft.)that remain bare, in spite of trying Habiturf. Soil is dry, poor and shallow. Can you suggest a living ground cover that would not require m...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for a slope in MA
April 04, 2010 - We live in Eastern MA. We have a hill behind our house that was previously mulched. Slope is 45 degrees in direct sun, clay soil. We have another hill by the road side that is partially shaded with ...
view the full question and answer

Drought-resistant ground cover for Massachusetts
July 11, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants I am looking for drought resistant,low maintenance ground cover for a LEED certified project in Florence MA. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcovers for erosion control
September 26, 2012 - I need a ground cover (vine??) that will help me with erosion on a sloped front yard. It gets about 6-8 hours of sun and my main need is for something that the rats in our neighborhood will not destro...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-vascular moss as a lawn from Seattle WA
July 27, 2013 - I have lots of moss in my back yard. How can I encourage it to grow over the whole yard?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center