Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Monday - May 05, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Pests, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Control of invasive sandburs in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My attempts to control / eradicate Sanbur with pre-emergent corn gluten twice yeary for the last three years have been unsuccessful. My post emergent pulling weeds for 15 years has also been unsuccessful. Will adding soil and then re-sodding over the emerged weeds kill them?

ANSWER:

Not surprisingly, you are not the first person from Austin to ask us about Cenchrus spinifex (Coastal sandbur). First, read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer from Austin. In that answer, there is another link to a previous answer from Mission, TX, with complete instructions on the process. That previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer includes the use of pre-emergent corn gluten.

And, no, resodding will not help. These are annuals and each of those little spiny balls that are in the ground is a seed, and it will come back, believe us. Plus, it's native to Travis County and therefore probably more enduring in the environment than whatever grass you are trying to grow.

 

From the Image Gallery


Grass bur
Cenchrus spinifex

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Erosion Control Shrubs and Groundcovers for Steep NY Wooded Slope
November 28, 2015 - I need to cover a couple of very steep slopes in upstate New York that are partially wooded and near a brook. The slopes are about 130 feet back from the brook. Someone estimated that there is a coupl...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Love Grass in Michigan
July 27, 2015 - need a replacement for Love Grass at Shops of Willow Bend in Plano. The entire perimeter of this mall has Bermuda and Love Grass. The Elms and Oaks have grown so the Love Grass is mostly gone. Ther...
view the full question and answer

Need plants for a slope in KY.
September 29, 2012 - I have a slope in my back yard that is mostly a slate shelf, grass and Weeds will grow but not well, very spotty. I am wanting a ground cover that blooms. Would like to not have to mow. This is a ve...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Blue plants or flowers in Baltimore, MD
July 27, 2007 - I have a taxi company in the city called Bluecab. The headquarters is in an industrial area and the soil is tough and well, industrial. There will be no watering or maintenance done. Looks like a car ...
view the full question and answer

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