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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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Thursday - July 09, 2015

From: Shiro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Groundcover Planting in Shiro TX
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have been collecting seeds from White Avens and Texas Sedge to use as ground covers. What is the optimal time to plant these seeds? We have been experiencing heavy rains in our area lately, so I am also concerned about the seeds washing away.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants works from the philosophy that native plant seeding should be done at pretty much the same time that the plants would seed themselves in the wild.

Geum canadense (White avens) is a good ground cover and is native to your area.  You can find the Plant Record on that link  and it shows the bloom period as April through June.   That means that the plant itself will be distributing its seeds roughly May through July.  

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) is also a good groundcover choice.  The record shows that it blooms March through May, which makes an optimal seeding time as April through June.

  For both, it appears that now is a pretty good time to seed and you wouldn’t want to wait too much later.  I hear you about the rains we’ve been having but we really do need the moisture!  It’s a good idea to scratch the soil gently and press the seeds lightly onto the surface.  Mostly all you can do is hope that we’ll get a nice distribution of soakings and no floods until your groundcover is established.

 

From the Image Gallery


White avens
Geum canadense

White avens
Geum canadense

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

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