En EspaŅol

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
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 Non-Natives Questions

Care of non-native calla lilies
July 15, 2005 - How should I protect my calla lilies during the winter? If it helps you any, I live in South Carolina. And also will too much water hurt them? We have had massive amounts of rain.
view the full question and answer

Propagation of non-native vitex
August 10, 2008 - I am interested in propagating a beautiful big vitex tree. Can I do it from seeds or what is the best way? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Transplanting of non-native Vitex
April 29, 2006 - I live in El Paso and have a fifteen year old vitex tree planted too close to a mesquite tree in my backyard. As a result of this, the vitex has failed to thrive. My question is this: can I replant ...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
December 27, 2012 - My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Aust...
view the full question and answer

Care of the non-native Aralias (Genus Polyscias)
January 04, 2008 - Today I purchased a POLYSCIAS common name "Aralia" I was told that can be happy inside, little light. Please could you inform me how to take care: feeding, fertilizing, watering needs? Does it bl...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center