Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - July 06, 2010

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Sowing native grass seeds in July in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a bare patch of soil behind my house. Can I sow native grass seeds now?

ANSWER:

It would not be a good idea. In spite of the rain and comparatively cool weather we have had in the first few weeks of Spring and Summer, the real Central Texas Summer is now here. Please read some of our How-To Articles and one from our Conservation section on the planting of native grass seeds in this part of the state:

Native Lawns: Buffalograss

Native Lawns: Multi-Species - note this article says early Spring is best, don't do it in mid-Winter or mid-Summer.

From our Conservation section: Native Lawns

These all involve native, lawn-type grasses, and all those grasses need full sun, which we consider to be 6 hours or more of sun a day. If there is a lot of shade, you may have to opt for some low-growing native groundcovers. You didn't say what size this patch of ground is, but you could also choose a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. See our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening

The message here is: don't try to get new plants going in extremes of weather, hot or cold. Whatever you plant needs to be appropriate to the sunlight available, the soil and the purpose for which it will be used. Unfortunately, none of these can be achieved by just pitching some seeds out. You can spend the time between now and the right season for planting preparing the ground, for which there are instructions in all of the articles to which we referred, as well as planning and selection of what you want to plant. There is no point in planting grass seeds now, they won't start to germinate until Spring, which will give insects, birds and the wind plenty of time to carry off the seeds. And, finally, native plants are not a no-care cure-all. They will need to be protected from invasive weeds and irrigated, at least for the first few months until the plants can become well-established.  

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Mexican Feathergrass not Blooming in San Diego
September 22, 2015 - Hello, I planted seven Mexican Feathergrass plant about four months ago and only one of them has got the "feathers" at the tip of its grasses. The others are growing nice and tall as well, but not f...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf lawn in Carson City, NV
October 15, 2013 - I planted habiturf just south of Reno NV May 5. First two months no or little germination because nite temps too cold. Now doing ok except battling purslane and redstem filaree.. SO, I notice bare/spa...
view the full question and answer

Can Carolina wild petunia be planted over septic tank in Nokomis FL
July 10, 2011 - Could you tell me the root depth of the Ruellia caroliniensis/ Carolina wild petunia? Trying to determine if I can plant it over septic tank.
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a children's playground
April 20, 2015 - We have extensive native gardens on our 2 acre property, but my children want a garden of their own with plants they can hide under and that are good for imaginative play. Are there any native plants...
view the full question and answer

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