Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Sunday - September 04, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wanted to know how I determine if I have too much shade? I also wanted to know if there is company out there where I can purchase the seed and have them prep my yard and plant. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

We will have to tell you that the native turf grasses all depend on quite a bit of sun. Begin by charting your yard as regards the amount of sun on each area. This will require your checking various areas of the property at various times of the day. This time of year you will undoubtedly have more sun that ordinarily, except in the shade of large deciduous trees or structures. Generally speaking, we consider "full sun" to be 6 or more hours of sun a day. "Part shade" is 2 to 6 hours of sun, and "shade" is 2 hours or less of sun.

You have probably already read our How-To Articles on native turf grasses, but here are links to them for you or others who might be considering the same thing:

Native Lawns: Buffalograss

Native Lawns: Multi-Species

There are links in each article to our webpages on the individual grasses,

As for purchase of the seed and/or contractors go to our National Suppliers Directory, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list in your general area of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

Blue grama
Bouteloua gracilis

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Groundcover Planting in Shiro TX
July 09, 2015 - I have been collecting seeds from White Avens and Texas Sedge to use as ground covers. What is the optimal time to plant these seeds? We have been experiencing heavy rains in our area lately, so I am ...
view the full question and answer

Growing grasses under juniper trees (Juniperus ashei)
October 29, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, Yesterday, I attended the plant sale at the Wildflower Center. I purchased cupgrass and switchgrass seeds only to discover the grasses may need more water than I am willing to u...
view the full question and answer

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!
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Additional screening under yaupons in Georgetown TX
November 09, 2011 - We live on a corner and have a berm along the south side of our yard which blocks our backyard from the street. It was planted with uprights yaupons. With the drought, deer have eaten the bottom por...
view the full question and answer

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