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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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Monday - August 11, 2014

From: Krugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pollinators, Butterfly Gardens, Meadow Gardens, Planting, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Making a pollinator garden
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a ditch right by my house and I want to turn it into a pollinator garden using native plants. My problem is, right now it's so full of weeds that we have to mow those down so soon. For example, the weeds will get as high as my shoulder but the mammoth sunflowers I tried to plant only got about a foot high. How can I turn this around?

ANSWER:

This could be a huge project, depending upon the size of your ditch.  I will refer you to a series of How To articles on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web site. The first order of business is getting rid of the unwanted weeds.  A good start will be to mow them down before they go to seed.  Many of them will be annuals that will not return if no seeds are produced.  Then make use of the tips offered in the How To articles. You will want a mix of native grasses and broad-leafed wildflowers.  It would be best to plan to plant seeds in the fall.  The Butterfly Gardening article will suggest some plants to chose.  You should be able to find many of these plants at one of  your local gardening suppliers.

 

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