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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 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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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.

 

 

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