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
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
1 rating

Tuesday - July 02, 2013

From: Bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Planting, Seasonal Tasks, Seeds and Seeding, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-seed. Can we wait to grass seed in the spring or will we see uninvited seeds take root?

ANSWER:

We commend you for your intention to create an improved wildflower meadow.  The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center web site has a number of useful tips for achieving your goal.

Recreating a meadow : 

Meadow gardening tips:

Soil preparation:

It would be good to remove as many of the undesirable plant seeds this summer before they mature.  Some are not destroyed by a controlled burn and will germinate in the spring.  Wildflower seeds that you might want to add should be distributed in the fall.  Many of them will germinate with the (hopeful) fall and winter rains and be well rooted by spring.  Native grasses can be planted in the winter also or in early spring.  It might be more convenient to plant grass seed in the fall along with the wildflowers.  It is important for the seeds to have direct contact with mineral soil.  This should be easily done on the burned field, especially if you drag a rake or chain over the area to help drop the seed down onto the soil.

You can purchase seeds from local nurseries.  Some, e.g., Native American Seed, have a number of mixtures of grasses and forbs well suited for your area.  Information on individual grass species is available on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web site Native Plant Database by typing in the plant name.  On this web page you can also find the recommended plant species for your area.

I attach below images of some of the most common native grasses for central Texas.

 

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Texas grama
Bouteloua rigidiseta

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Eastern gamagrass
Tripsacum dactyloides

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

More Planting Questions

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

Root ball disintegrating on Arroyo sweetwood from Dripping Springs TX
May 11, 2013 - I just purchased a arroyo sweetwood in a 5 gallon container and when I went to put it in the ground the root ball completely fell apart. I put it in the ground and watered it really good. What are its...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen — or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees — could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

When is best time to transplant Ezperanza shrubs in Buda, TX?
September 02, 2013 - I need to transplant 2 huge Esperanza's...when is the best time to uproot them and not kill them?
view the full question and answer

Huisaches in pots from Houston TX
May 20, 2012 - I have special (and probably weird) affinity to huisaches (acacia farnesiana). As a child I used to admire the three that elegantly guarded our backyard looking almost like fingers reaching for the s...
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