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

Sunday - October 06, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for golf courses from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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 grass species could work. The fairways have more specific requirements. They need to withstand traffic and mowing yet still provide enough coverage so the course is not overly fast (bouncy). I am considering some of the improved buffalo grasses and the hybrid Texas Blue grass like the improved forms of Reveille. Blue Grama may be a possibility but I am not sure how much it will fill in with constant mowing. Are there others I am overlooking?

ANSWER:

This is a little out of the realm of experience for Mr. Smarty Plants. For instance, here is an article from eHow on Golf Course Grass Types for Texas. None of the plants listed in this article are even native to North America, much less Central Texas.

Ryegrass - from Aggie Horticulture, Ryegrass, Temporary  Sports Turf for the South.

Zoysiagrass - from Aggie Horticulture Zoysiagrass

Bentgrass - from Aggie Horticulture Bentgrass

Aggie Horticulture Bermudagrass

Habiturf, developed by the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is our recommended native turf grass. Please read this website from the Wildflower Center on Habiturf, and follow the link to instructions for installing and maintaining the grass, which is a mix of three native Texas grasses. In that linked article, under "Mowing" please note this line:

"Mow once every 3 to 5 weeks when growing and not at all when drought or cold dormant. Mowing shorter —2 inches or less— will damage your lawn's health."

Only you can judge if this grass will fulfill your requirements. Follow the three links below to our webpages on the three grass components of Habiturf for more information on each:

Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)

Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama)

Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass)

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Need suggestions for landscaping along a creek in Lenoir, NC
July 25, 2011 - I live in Lenoir, NC and would like to landscape my creek bank that is about 90 feet long and is 200 feet from my house. I thought about evergeen bushes maybe rhododendron; some grasses; a few trees ...
view the full question and answer

Lawn Options for Saginaw, MI
April 09, 2015 - I'm looking for a low maintenance, high traffic lawn alternative. Will Texas Frogfruit handle the winter? My yard is small so covering it is an option.
view the full question and answer

Poolside plants for East Texas
June 18, 2015 - What are the best plants, shrubs, ornamental trees, etc. for poolside planting in East Texas?
view the full question and answer

How can I control Rescue Grass in my newly seeded prairie restoration?
March 25, 2009 - Hello, This past fall I solarized the existing turfgrass in my front yard and seeded with the native tallgrass prairie grasses and wildflowers. My goal is to restore a small patch of tall grass pr...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent creekside erosion in Nacogdoches County, Texas
December 09, 2014 - I am looking for some advice on plants native to Texas that can help prevent erosion. I own a wooded lot with a creek and would like to consolidate the sides of the creek against potential erosion. I...
view the full question and answer

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