Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

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

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 30, 2009

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Seeding wildflowers in Dallas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to establish seed for wildflowers in Dallas, TX? The area does get some irrigation from rotors. Would hydromulch be the most effective option?

ANSWER:

First, let me refer you to our page of How To Articles.  At the bottom of that page under LARGE SCALE WILDFLOWER PLANTING are several articles that apply to your question.  In particular, "Getting Started" suggests using a grain drill or a hand-carried mechanical seeder to sow the seeds. It may be possible that you can rent such equipment from a local nursery or farm supply store.

The "Meadow Gardening" article suggests that you add native grasses to your wildflower mix because:

"They provide support and protection for tall flowers.  They fill in spaces around wildflowers otherwise occupied by weeds.  They add color and texture to the landscape.  They prevent soil erosion.  They provide food and cover for wildlife."

"Meadow Gardening" also gives you tips about preparing the soil and what to expect for your field of wildflowers after the first, second, third years and beyond. 

In the answer to a previous question about seeding large areas with grasses, our Director of Landscape Restoration, Steve Windhager said:

"Hydromulching is a bad idea. The tactifier in hydromulch is actually hydrophobic (repels water) when it gets dry. As a result, most native seeds die when they are applied with hydromulch. Native American Seed has spread seed by hand and then sprayed on a "clean" hydromulch mix (no seed) for erosion control and they say that they have had good results. We are now recommending pneumatically applied compost for seed applications that would have formerly used hydromulch. It works GREAT, although you may have some leaching of nutrients (nitrate and phosphate) out of the compost with any run off, so you don't want to do this near a creek or river at this point."

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

More on bluebonnets
March 10, 2007 - It is the first week of March in northeast Oklahoma and I received a wildflower mix that is 60% Lupinus texensis or Texas bluebonnets. Should I wait until fall to plant or can I cold treat or do som...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for an August wedding in Driftwood TX
March 25, 2012 - For an August 4th wedding in Driftwood, Texas we want fragrant flowers and wildflowers that we can grow in our garden. We have four raised beds (12 ft. x 6 ft.) in a fenced area in which we've grown ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants wildflower gardens
January 08, 2004 - I want to plant a wildflower garden but I live in NC And I want My garden to be in bloom all year what types of wildflowers will stay in bloom all year and do I have to import them?
view the full question and answer

Using Native Plants Database to determine flowering time in Austin
April 07, 2006 - How can I access your data base to learn what plants are flowering in Austin during the months of October and early November?
view the full question and answer

Low growing annuals for OK shaded slope.
January 26, 2016 - I have a heavily shaded slope on the north, west, and south side of my home. Can you suggest some low growing annuals (flowering, or not) that would allow me to beautify my property.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.