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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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Friday - March 20, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Grasses for a pasture in Hays County, Texas with horses
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I intend to sow grass seed over a few acres of pasture on which I'll have a couple of horses in Driftwood, TX. I'd like to know what variety of seed(s) would be most beneficial to the land - and the animals. Thanks for your input.

ANSWER:

There once was a web publication from the Texas AgriLife Research Center and Extension Service in Stephenville called Forages of Texas – North Central that listed native (and non-native) grasses and gave their palatability and nutritional assets for livestock.  Alas, it doesn't seem to exist anymore.  However, I have some information from previous question that Mr. Smarty Plants has answered.   Here are four grasses that had a high rank (in the above article) for both palatability and nutrition:

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) is considered to be one of the most nutritious of the prairie grasses.

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama) is the State Grass of Texas.

Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

These are drought tolerant and will protect against erosion.  Mr. Smarty Plants recommends that you plant a variety of grasses, not a monoculture.  You might even consider a mix with wildflowers in it.

All of these are native to Hays County and seeds can be found at Native American Seeds in Junction, Texas.  They offer a good variety of native grass seeds and seed mixes for sale.  Be sure to check out their Planting Tips.  Also, look at our How to Articles for help with large scale planting.

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Eastern gamagrass
Tripsacum dactyloides

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

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