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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

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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Tuesday - September 01, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Straw that broke the camel's back.
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I keep forgetting which day I am supposed to water and my St. Augustine lawn has turned into the neighborhood eyesore. Where can I go to learn more about this drought tolerant "native plant" gardening I'm hearing so much about?

ANSWER:

Dear St. Augustine,

Today is your lucky day. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center partners with the University of Texas at Austin Informal Classes in an informal education program designed to teach adults about the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. In the fall series of classes, students will learn about the benefits of native plants in a fun and interactive environment at the Wildflower Center's beautiful facility in south Austin.

The Fall Series of native plant gardening classes starts September 19th and includes:

Native Garden Design - Proper design will help ensure a successful native plant garden.

Native Plants I & II - Choosing the right native plants for your garden is both art and science. In this class you will learn about common and botanical names, basic garden ecology, plant requirements, and how to create a planting plan.

Installation - This class covers site preparation, irrigation, best planting times and techniques, and mulches and mulch application.

Maintenance - Topics will include selecting the right tools for the job, watering guidelines and water conservation, fertilizers, soil additives, mulches, pruning, trimming, mowing, grooming, cold and heat protection, gardening hazards and gardener's health.

Pests 101 - This class will introduce you to native plant diseases, garden pests, insects and weeds.

Registration for Go Native U is arranged through the University of Texas at Austin Informal Classes. Sign up for all six courses in the Native Plant Gardening sequence and receive a 10% discount on your registration. Call 512.471.9683 for the discount. 

 

 

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
January 24, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
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Drought-Tolerant Plants for Arizona
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Ground cover for a dry slope in PA
May 23, 2013 - My side yard is a slope with rocky (a lot of small serpentine rocks) soil under white and black pine trees. I can grow lots of weeds :-) but would like to plant a low (0-3in) evergreen ground cover th...
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Can Habiturf be planted by hydroseeding from Austin?
February 04, 2012 - We are thinking about seeding our lawn with HABITURF. Could you provide any input on whether HABITURF can be planted by hydroseeding? Thanks!
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Replacing St. Augustine with native grass in Austin
February 24, 2012 - We are renting a house our Sister-in-law owns- the St Augustine is in tough shape, drought and lack of care over the years. Could we plant a native grass or do we have to pull up the remaining St. Aug...
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