En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 27, 2013

From: Possum Kingdom lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Use of Turffalo in Possum Kingdom TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, we will be building a retirement home in the hillside area of Possum Kingdom Lake which currently has cactus, cedar, and some live oaks. Our intention is to keep most of the 8 acres natural with the hillside areas and have a lawn close to the house for our use and our two dogs. I recently saw an article on a grass called tuffalo. How does this compare to the native grass blends for our area of texas? It appears that we will need to add soil to plant once the house is built. There is what appears to be a sandy soil with lots of limestone rocks and it is almost totally sunny. we love the West Texas look. Is there hope for a dog, drought, low maintenance lawn for us?

ANSWER:

From Texas Tech University, developer of Turffalo, here is an article about this variation of Texas native grass Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss), The Buffalo Reconfigured. When we searched our own Mr. Smarty Plants previous answers we found 11 questions and answers on this grass, beginning in 2007, with the most recent one in 2010. We especially noticed that most of the questions came in Spring, which is the appropriate time to plant grasses in Texas. Rather than try to summarize what we have said about this grass, here is a selection of our answers, by date.

March 12, 2007

April 7, 2007

March 5, 2008

March 17, 2008

June 26, 2009

Feb. 11, 2010

Before your question, that was the last time we were asked about it; we do not know the date of the article from Texas Tech. Now that you know all we know about Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss), let us introduce you to Habiturf. You will notice in some of the articles referenced above that grasses that were a combination of three native grasses, including Buffalograss, made more sense and worked better as a lawn grass.

Here is some information on the new grass mix:

Habiturf - The Ecological Lawn This includes a video on planting and several more links

Native Lawns

We urge you to read all the material and watch the video. It was made while planting the lawn in the Homeowner's Garden at the Wildflower Center. You are thinking of this at a good time. You don't want to be putting in a lawn in the middle of the summer, and you certainly want all the construction equipment gone before you begin lawn preparations. You noted that you would probably need to put some soil on the area where the grass was to be planted, and there are recommendations for that in the articles, too.

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for golf courses from Austin
October 06, 2013 - I may be working on two different golf courses and wanted to know if any native or hybrid native grasses would work for the fairways and rough areas? The rough areas are no problem as a number of ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for native grasses to stabilize hillside Kerrville, TX.
August 18, 2012 - We have a steep slope at the back of our property in "caleche" territory in Kerrville. It is about 80 feet wide by 40 feet and ends at a wash. It is outside of our fenced yard and we are in city lim...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
June 05, 2010 - We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
view the full question and answer

When to harvest native grass seeds?
May 29, 2015 - We are trying to restore native grasses to a small pasture between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs. Last spring (2014), we seeded a mix of sideoats grama, little bluestem, dahl bluestem, and sprangleto...
view the full question and answer

Muhly grass slow to green up from Spring Hill FL
August 04, 2012 - Have lots of muhly grass planted 3 yrs ago. This yr about 1/3 are VERY slow. Still look like hay stacks. No pattern in the bed. You mentioned pesticides being too close?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center