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

Monday - August 19, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Benefits of Habiturf from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have been reading about Habiturf and my question should be easy to answer. Is this is a grass you would recommend for kid play? Sitting on the lawn, kicking a soccer ball, etc. Any information about the types of activities this lawn can withstand from humans would be great. thanks

ANSWER:

Absolutely. First, read this article from the August 12, 2013 New York Times. Arid Southwest Cities' Plea: Lose the Lawn.

I sent an e-mail to Mark Simmons, Director, Research and Consulting, Ecosystem Design Group, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, who led the effort to develop Habiturf. He responded to the Times with this e-mail:


"Certainly, lawns maintained conventionally are a landscape on life-support.  So lose the lawn or pay dearly. Or a third option – use native turfgrass species adapted to drought and low soil nutrients. Better still, use a blend of native species to form a lawn that effectively simulates a ‘miniature prairie’. We have been researching this alternative approach to lawns for the last 5 years and already it has been adopted by home-owners, campuses and even at the George W Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. If the bi-monthly watering stops, then this lawn turns a drought-dormant brown, but will recover when rains return. This may be unsightly to some, but a few months of brown is a better alternative to no lawn at all. My kids would rather play in temporary-brown lawn than among cacti and rocks. And I still want my deck-chair and beer on grass, not hot gravel."

That is, if you will, from the horse's mouth.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native turf grass for Denison TX
January 27, 2014 - I have researched many grasses for sandy soil in Denison,Tx that are easy mantainance. Habiturf has been recommended but is mostly Buffalo grass and is not recommended for sandy soil. What other opt...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing grass for steep hill in Austin
February 10, 2010 - I'm looking for a low-growing grass for a steep hill in my backyard. My issues are it can't be mowed because the hill is too steep, it can't be trimmed with a weed eater because it's a very large...
view the full question and answer

Trimming inland sea oats from Waco TX
January 30, 2013 - Re: Inland Sea Oats and trimming back in early spring "It passes through most of winter a soft brown, but becomes tattered and gray by February, a good time to cut it back to the basal rosette." ...
view the full question and answer

Drought-resistant plants for Paradise, California
January 23, 2009 - We are moving to a new home in Paradise, CA. What drought resistant plants do well in Paradise ? Thank you !!
view the full question and answer

Will buffalograss thrive in Ada OK?
May 08, 2013 - Would buffalo grass thrive in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, where my sandy loamie soil struggles with summer droughts?
view the full question and answer

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