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

Tuesday - October 15, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Questions on non-native St. Augustine from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have St. Augustine grass in my yard. I am having work done in my yard soon, which will require new sod. I know the St. Augustine has to take root in the ground before the first freeze, to assure that the new sod will not die. About how long does it take for St. Augustine to become well-rooted at this time of year?

ANSWER:

Sorry, wrong number. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are to be grown; in your case, Travis County, TX. Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine grass, is believed to be originally native to Africa.

Here are a few resources we wish you would look at before you decide what sod to put down:

Austin Statesman, Sept.18, 2011 - Austin will pay to let St. Augustine die, sow a less thirsty lawn.

New York Times, August 12, 2013 - Arid Southwest Cities Plea: Lose the Lawn

Follow this link to our article on Habiturf - Species Mix for North, West and Central Texas. Then, you would probably be interested in our article Native Lawns. This includes some pictures and some research information comparing Habiturf with other, non-native, lawns.

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

When to move eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides)
September 18, 2010 - I have a huge Eastern gamagrass clump that I need to move. What is the best time of year to transplant native grasses
view the full question and answer

Grasses for sloped clay hillside in Ohio
October 16, 2008 - I have built a new home located on a hillside, our soil has a tremendous amount of clay in it. We have a sloped hillside that flows within 25 feet to the back door. The area is wooded and therefore ...
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives to St. Augustine for under an Arizona Ash
October 12, 2006 - I live in Mansfield, TX. We have a large Arizona Ash tree in our back yard. No grass will grow under it. We are thinking of laying sod (St. Augustine) there. Is this a good solution and if so, whe...
view the full question and answer

Grass identification books for Texas
July 17, 2010 - We live northwest of Austin, on Nameless Road. Have MANY types of native grasses--can you recommend a good book, with photos, to use in identifying? Also, what native grasses are good for attracting...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf in Houston
January 30, 2012 - I want to install a Multi-Species Native Lawn, like HABITURF. However, I live in Houston, Texas and most of your information on this topic doesn't address my region. As I don't have a heavily shaded...
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