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 Xeriscapes Questions

Five-eight foot hedge for north Texas
September 06, 2013 - I am looking to find a fairly large (preferably flowering) shrub / hedge to go along 100 feet of fence. The plants will be facing Northeast, but will be for the most part under the branches of crape m...
view the full question and answer

Cenizos browning in Houston
October 01, 2011 - After this horrible drought, I am committed to xeriscaping with native Texas plants. The few hibiscus that survived have been transplanted into pots and are thriving. I bid the tiny boxwoods a fond fa...
view the full question and answer

Drought affecting native trees from The Woodlands
August 18, 2011 - I've been trying to grow native trees in my yard for the past 3 years and I'm starting to question whether the amount of time required to spend watering them during the long hot season in Texas is r...
view the full question and answer

Problem garden strip in Austin
May 22, 2014 - Currently I live in the west half of a duplex. There is a small strip of dirt about two feet wide between the wall and the sidewalk in the backyard. It faces west, meaning it only gets sunlight duri...
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
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