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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sunday - October 06, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Habiturf lawn for townhouse in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in central Austin and on November 1st I will be moving into a townhome with a small yard of around 500 square feet. The yard has been neglected and currently looks to be mostly compacted mud and some weeds. I want to put in a Habiturf yard. Can I get the Habiturf in the ground in November or do I need to wait until the spring? If I can't start the new lawn in November, when can I start and what should I do in the meantime to prepare the soil and minimize muddiness (I have a small dog who will be both inside and in the yard every day)? Any suggestions for what I can do to get some ground cover started in the fall would be greatly appreciated so I don't have to have an ugly mud yard for 5 months!

ANSWER:

You are go to be congratulated for seeking a more environmentally friendly landscape. We would like for you to read a very recent (like a few minutes ago) Mr. Smarty Plants answer concerning lawns in Texas, and follow all the additional links in it. Included in that trail of links is information on Habiturf, including when and how to plant it. It is better to plant it in the Spring, but when you read the articles you will realize that you will be plenty busy until then preparing the area for the grass. Be glad you have a small property. You need also to know that it requires about 5 to 6 hours of full sun a day. Often on small properties  nearby structures may provide more shade than that, so check the amount of sun a day before you buy grass seed.

 

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