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

Saturday - March 24, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Watering
Title: Watering a vegetable garden in San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you give me a general idea how long to run my drip irrigation on my raised vegetable garden? Currently I use it twice daily for one hour. The soil feels slightly moist but not very damp. Should I irrigate longer or is that wasting water from my well? Last year I had to double up during the hot summer.

ANSWER:

This is out of our range of expertise, in that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. Most, if not all, vegetables are not only non-native to North America, but have been so heavily hybridized over the years that there is really no way of identifying the resultant plant. This doesn't mean we are opposed to vegetables (well, some of us are) but just means we don't know much about growing them.

However, we should be able to point you to resources that do know about vegetables, and help you find the information you need. From Colorado State University Extension here is an article on Irrigating the Vegetable Garden. Another closer-to-home resource is the Texas Agrilife Extension Office for Hays County. There is contact information and an index of subject matter on that webpage that should lead you to answers to your question.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacement for pygmy date palms in Spring, TX
April 15, 2010 - We live in Spring, Texas and the front door of our house faces East. Last winter we lost both of our beautiful pigmy date palms! We are trying to find "unique" accent plants for our front entry. D...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree in California
May 02, 2012 - A medium-size tree with shiny green leaves toward the bottom and garnet red ones toward the top of the tree. The leaves are narrow with saw-toothed edges. There are clustered small white flowers with ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with peonies in Indianola, WA
May 18, 2009 - My 5 year old peony plant didn't come up. I thought it was dead so I dug it up. I found a clump of thick roots. I separated them, and then realized these were probably the bulbs. It is the middle...
view the full question and answer

Regulations for transporting plants to Texas from Florida
July 29, 2008 - We are relocating to TX from FL, I have a collection of potted palm trees and quite a few potted tropical plants (none are invasive)that I would like to bring with us, we will be traveling by car and ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native Japanese maple
May 03, 2010 - My 10 year old Japanese red maple leaves suddenly started to curl up and die at the end of summer last year. Only about a quarter of the tree leaved out this spring, branches are dead. Can I plant ano...
view the full question and answer

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