Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Monday - August 19, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Benefits of Habiturf from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have been reading about Habiturf and my question should be easy to answer. Is this is a grass you would recommend for kid play? Sitting on the lawn, kicking a soccer ball, etc. Any information about the types of activities this lawn can withstand from humans would be great. thanks

ANSWER:

Absolutely. First, read this article from the August 12, 2013 New York Times. Arid Southwest Cities' Plea: Lose the Lawn.

I sent an e-mail to Mark Simmons, Director, Research and Consulting, Ecosystem Design Group, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, who led the effort to develop Habiturf. He responded to the Times with this e-mail:


"Certainly, lawns maintained conventionally are a landscape on life-support.  So lose the lawn or pay dearly. Or a third option – use native turfgrass species adapted to drought and low soil nutrients. Better still, use a blend of native species to form a lawn that effectively simulates a ‘miniature prairie’. We have been researching this alternative approach to lawns for the last 5 years and already it has been adopted by home-owners, campuses and even at the George W Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. If the bi-monthly watering stops, then this lawn turns a drought-dormant brown, but will recover when rains return. This may be unsightly to some, but a few months of brown is a better alternative to no lawn at all. My kids would rather play in temporary-brown lawn than among cacti and rocks. And I still want my deck-chair and beer on grass, not hot gravel."

That is, if you will, from the horse's mouth.

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Perennial ground cover for hillside in Holmdel NJ
April 25, 2014 - I live in NJ. I would like to use a perennial ground cover for my landscaping bed on a hill with full sun and deer resistant. It's a good size landscaping bed that is facing east (southeast). What...
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Connecticut sandy gravel bank
January 11, 2012 - What ground cover plant can I use on a sandy gravel bank behind my house?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Lighthouse Point FL
April 13, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am looking for mowable ground cover for part of my back yard. Due to a Mahogany tree, a hammock, surrounding foliage and a fence, there is alot of shade in the area, alon...
view the full question and answer

Help with control of small, invasive groundcover
April 16, 2012 - I have a very invasive ground cover creeping into my yard. I've tried to identify it and it's similar to creeping charlie or garlic mustard. Leaves are triangular with jagged edges, small purple f...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.