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

Sunday - May 29, 2011

From: Hurst, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Groundcovers
Title: Replacing Weeds with Native Plants in Dallas Area
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I have a large oak tree in my front yard and lots and lots of miscellaneous weeds (clover, chickweed, stickers, etc.). I am wanting to grow grass in my front yard, that is shaded pretty much most of the day, and get rid of all the weeds. Any suggestions on what to do to get grass in my yard and not weeds?

ANSWER:

Normally, Mr. Smarty Plants would recommend solarization to kill the weeds before planting natives, but it sounds like you may have too much shade for the solarization to be fully effective. Here is an article that discusses sveral methods for killing weeds. 

Now, when it comes to planting natives, you should know that native turf grasses are not going to do well in the shade. However, there are a number of native plants that are grass-like (the sedges) and a number of native groundcovers that can be an attractive alterntive to grasses.

Mr. Smarty Plants has addressed questions similar to yours before. Here are links to a some examples:

Native grass for Austin to sow in the early spring

Plants for shaded area under pecan trees

Native Grass for Sandy Soil and Shade

 

From the Image Gallery


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Cherokee sedge
Carex cherokeensis

More Pests Questions

Failure to thrive of Lantanas
August 06, 2008 - Here at work we have 4 beautiful yellow Santanas(should I say had), the leaves have started to turn brown and no longer blooming. Appears to have a fungus or disease. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Snails in my flower beds
May 06, 2009 - I live in Kingwood, Texas (north of Houston). I have been inundated with snails in my flower beds in my front & backyard. I really didn't want to use a pesticide, but they were eating all of my flo...
view the full question and answer

Fighting ants and bugs in Richardson TX
September 01, 2010 - Before my blue fall asters and my Clara Curtis (perennial) mums bloom in a few weeks, what can I do to help prevent the ants and other bugs from eating them to death- so I can enjoy them a bit longer ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Monterrey Oak in Austin
March 26, 2013 - We had a local tree service plant two Monterrey Oak trees on 4/2/2012. At the time we noticed that woodpeckers had had a field day on the trunk bark of both trees with the most damage being on the lar...
view the full question and answer

Pest Dug Up and Ate Hypoxis Corms
August 06, 2015 - After years of no problems, something recently dug up and ate all my Yellow star-grass corms. What is attracted to them and is there an organic way to prevent it?
view the full question and answer

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