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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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Wednesday - August 19, 2009

From: Mason, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a lot of. Any insight you have..will this area work for buffalograss and/or do I need to bring in a significant amount of topsoil/compost in order for it to thrive? Thanks in advance!

ANSWER:

Did you know that Hilda TX is referred to as a "ghost town" when you Google for it? It's okay, we don't discriminate, even ghosts can grow native plants.

First, we would like to suggest that you read our How-To Article Native Lawns: Buffalograss.  We checked Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) on the USDA Plant Profile, and found that Mason County is right in the middle of a very good area for the grass to grow. If it is already native to the area, you don't have to worry about the soils being okay or there being enough rain. Well, okay, maybe you need to worry about the rain, but it is a drought tolerant grass that will brown when it gets too dry, and then come back to green when the rains come. Because our How-To Article says that buffalograss "does not thrive" in sandy soil, you might follow their suggestion of tilling the soil before you plant, and tilling in some compost or top soil.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

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