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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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Sunday - October 05, 2014

From: San Francisco, CA
Region: California
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Alternative to Habiturf™ for San Franciso area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Will Habiturf thrive in San Francisco? My current sod lawn is dying because the soil has become extremely hard. I'll replace the top couple of inches but underneath is a mix of sand and clay.

ANSWER:

Habiturf™ was developed for Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and some areas of Arizona.   It would not thrive in San Francisco.  However, UC Davis has developed a buffalograss called UC Verde Buffalograss that is geared towards California soils and climate.  In some areas of California it thrives quite well.  You can see photos of UC Verde Buffalograss lawns in the San Francisco area on the Houzz website.  It requires plenty of sunshine to do well—it does NOT thrive in the shade.  The UC Verde Buffalograss webpage has instructions for preparing your site for a new lawn.

The City of Santa Barbara has an article, Water Wise Lawn Alternatives, that has three possibilities for grasses/grass-like plants that will grow in the San Francisco area:

The University of California Cooperative Extension's Santa Clara Master Gardeners has an article, "Rethinking Your Lawn" that recommends the grasses and grass-like plants named above as well as other suggestions for alternatives to regular water-intensive lawns.

 

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