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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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Wednesday - July 01, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Best grass for the shade in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What is the best grass seed for shade in Austin?

ANSWER:

Although you did not specify in your question, we are supposing you're asking about the best turf grass for shady situations for Austin, TX.  If not, then we can highly recommend Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) for shady locations, although it can become a bit aggressive for some situations.

If, as we suspect, you're asking about lawn grasses then we must first say that the focus of our research and the extent of our expertise is limited to North American native plant species.  Thus, turf grasses typically found in the Austin area such as Bermudagrass, St. Augustine Grass and Zoysia Grass are outside our area of study and we cannot recommend them.  However, St. Augustine Grass, a heavy water-user, is most often used in shady situations in your area.  Unfortunately, none of the native grasses that can be used in lawns, such as Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides), Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and Curly Mesquite (Hilaria belangeri) are suitable for shady areas.

 

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