Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Wednesday - July 24, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Problem with Habiturf. Is it dormant or dead?
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

We planted habiturf in spring 2012. It's beautiful. But since last summer, we have had one area that seems to go dormant much more rapidly than the rest, even though it receives the same amount of water, same treatments, no major difference in sunlight. Today, after a half inch of rain yesterday, this area has turned a deep brown, (never did this before) and now appears to be spreading. Any idea what's happening? Could you post close-up photos of what the dormant stage is supposed to look like? I have trouble distinguishing between "dead" and "dormant."

ANSWER:

I contacted Dr. Mark Simmons, Director of Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johsnon Wildflower Center and chief researcher and developer of Habiturf™.  He has Habiturf™ on his own lawn. He says your problem sounds to him like dormancy.  He has a place on his lawn that goes dormant early even though it gets water at the same rate as the rest of the lawn.  The reason that it goes dormant is that there is a large piece of limestone underneath that section so the soil doesn't hold moisture as well.  He doesn't think it is disease.  If it is, it would be a first since there have been no reports of die-off thus far.  Recovery from dormancy can take up to 10 days with available moisture.  At present, Dr. Simmons is out of town but he will try to post photos of dormant grass when he is back at the Wildflower Center.

 

More Turf Questions

Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
January 24, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
view the full question and answer

Savannah holly sprouting in lawn in Oklahoma City
May 24, 2009 - I have a 15 year old Savannah Holly in a shrub bed. This year, seedlings have sprouted all over my front lawn. This is the first year that I have had this problem other than in the shrub bed itself. I...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in lawn in Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 03, 2008 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I have an erosion control question. I have a growing problem with erosion on one side of my house. The soil from the side of my house slopes down about 8" in about 3 feet to ...
view the full question and answer

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

Maple roots in lawn in Denton TX
June 03, 2010 - I purchased a new home 4 years ago that came with a landscape package. There are 2 trees in the front yard that I think are red maple trees. I am now seeing their roots appear above the ground which...
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.