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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

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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Thursday - December 04, 2014

From: Claremont, CA
Region: California
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Alternative for HABITURF® in Los Angeles County, CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

The Habiturf brochure has a map indicating appropriate locales for growing this lawn. Excluded from the appropriate range is Southern California, where I live. Is Habiturf not recommended for this region? And if so, might you be able to recommend an alternative? Thank you for your assistance.

ANSWER:

Habiturf™ was developed for Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and some areas of Arizona.   It would not thrive in Claremont.  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 growing in several Southern California cities on the 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: 

 

 

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