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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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Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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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 - September 10, 2015

From: Arlington, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native turf grass for Arlington, VA.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi, could you please provide me with a recommendation for a native turf grass to plant in a large commercial area in Arlington, Virginia. Currently Kentucky 31 is being used, but we would like to identify a hardy native alternative or a native mix to plant instead in the future in order to minimize the need for fertilization and irrigation.

ANSWER:

We do not know of a grass species native to your area that can be used as a turf grass.  The most widely grown North American native grass that is used in lawns is Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and it is sometimes used in Virginia.  However, your state is far outside its native range and we cannot recommend it for use there.

Your county's Cooperative Extension Service office should have lots of great information on turf grasses and their care and maintenance for your area.

 

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