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Monday - October 05, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Does Calyptocarpus vialis (Horseherb) compete with turf grasses
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

For my yard in central Austin Does horse herb, Calyptocarpus vialis help or damage the growth of native short grasses? The grasses include Curly Mesquite and Blue Gamma planted early in the spring or in the fall. The grass plants are scattered and have not made a turf.

ANSWER:

A blogger in Central Texas at Where Plants Rule says that  Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) out-competes grasses in times of drought.  She also points out that straggler daisy (horseherb) predominates in the shade whereas most grasses do best in the sun, e.g., Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (Curly mesquite grass).  Another blogger from Austin TX at Great Stems: Garden Adventures, Wildlife Welcome, admits that it can compete with grass but loves it anyway.  Here is one more blog, Papershell: Gardening et cetera, that doesn't have quite as positive opinion about it.

You might consider leaving the horseherb to form a groundcover in shadier areas and try removing it from the sunnier areas.  One sure method for removing the horseherb is to pull it up by hand.  If you do this, you should realize that the stems break easily leaving the roots intact in the ground to produce more horseherb.  Wetting the ground makes it easier to remove the roots along with the plants.  With the fall rains that are hopefully coming, the blue grama and curly mesquite may begin to fill in the sunnier areas.  You might consider reseeding your lawn with blue grama and curly mesquite early next spring.  Native American Seed has a good article, Planting Tips for Native Grasses, that you might like to read. 

 

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