Plant the variety of the buffalo grass that you have chosen. A healthy Buffalo grass lawn can grow at an extremely fast rate. Fortunately, Buffalo grass is relatively disease free, but occasionally can suffer from a few lawn diseases. This spreading strategy explains this turf's easy management characteristic -- it expends its energy into horizontal spreading rather than tall, grass blade growth. of seed per 1000 square feet. Once germination is complete, infrequent deep soakings will keep the new seedlings spreading. It thrives in dry, sunny conditions and even survived the extreme drought of 2012. Full establishment of an area from seed can be completed in the first year. Newer cultivars (e.g. Buffalograss is a warm-season grass that should be planted in late spring to early summer. They therefore require less mowing. We Texans must love our prairies, since nearly every residential and commercial development has been sodded with acres of grasses such as bermuda, zoysia, or St. Augustine. per 1,000 sq. Buffalograss seed planted in mid-June germinates in about a week, while early spring plantings may take two to three weeks to germinate. Buffalograss grows best in full sun, but 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day is enough for acceptable turf. Early spring, early summer and early fall are good times of year to plant seeds. Ryegrass varieties may sprout from seed in as little as 5 days, while species such as Bermuda and Buffalo grass may take as long as 30 days. Fine-textured, gray-green to blue-green foliage grows 10-12 inches long but drapes over for a shorter appearance. Best grown in subtropical or tropical areas. A low-maintenance grass, buffalo grass is usually started from seed. Planting and Maintaining a Buffalograss Lawn By Terrance P. Riordan | April 4, 2012 Buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) has prospered on the Great Plains for centuries. Grass seed germination rates depend on the species of the seed you spread. Other factors include contact, presence, and consistency of moisture plus the age and quality of the seed. We will be planting some additional areas to buffalograss in the coming weeks. Developed by the Native Turf Group in cooperation with the University of Nebraska, Cody Buffalograss has established itself as a premier warm-season turfgrass. A water conserving grass from the “Native Turf Group”. Call 1-888-NEW-GRASS (1-888-639-4727) for more details. We apply a broadleaf weed control in the fall to eliminate henbit, dandelions, bindweed and other broadleaf weeds. Fourteen were introduced exotic grasses, five native to North America and one introduced native grass-hybrid cross. Brown patch is a late spring and summer disease. Once established, it survives extreme heat, drought, and cold. of seed per 1000 square feet. The arboretum has benefitted from the established stands of buffalograss we maintain. Just like establishing a flower bed, your seeding area needs to be as weed free as possible. If left un-mowed, your grass will reach a maximum height of 4 to 6 inches and have a natural, airy appearance. Growth begins in mid spring and continues through the summer. Bowie Buffalo grass seed provides the turf grass professional or the novice home owner the same great quality turf grass. Believe it or not, now is the time to plant buffalograss. Kikuyu grass is a perennial favourite for lawns throughout Australia. In marginal situations, weeds can become problematic, requiring weed control through herbicides or manual eradication. Buffalograss can be mowed from only once a year to once every two weeks, there again depending on the appearance desired. If you have quality seeds, they germinate in approximately seven days in optimum conditions. Generally, it grows 4 to 8 inches high and produces leaves less than 1/8 inch wide and 3 to 6 inches long. Buffalograss needs soil temperatures that are above 60⁰ F for germination to start. As the leaf growth is growing at speed, so too will be the thatch layer of the Buffalo grass. Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. Plugs are planted on 6 to 24 inch (15-61 cm.) Carpet Grass - Running grass with broad leaves. If you seed earlier in spring, the seeds take longer to sprout. If you are in a development that insists on indigenous plants, Buffalo is normally an accepted grass type. Sun-loving buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) prefers hot weather between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit for vigorous growth. Faster establishment, higher density, lower growth rate, excellent winter hardiness, low water requirement, darker color, fine texture and a wide area of adaptation give Cody the edge as the choice for low maintenance areas. Buffalo 609 can actually be weakened by over-fertilization, and it requires a lower nitrogen content than Bermuda grasses do. A short Buffalo lawn can also mean ongoing poor health due to a lack of photosynthesis. Buffalograss has a stoloniferous growth habit, … Hesston College. study growth patterns, forage characteristics and fi ber content from 1995 through 1997 (Table 1). growth rates of buffalograss compared to common bermudagrass (C. dactylon) under uniform and optimum growing conditions. As summertime breezes float over the hills and plains of Texas, Texans long to walk barefoot through their own bit of prairie. As the soil cools in fall, buffalo grass enters dormancy as winter arrives. Of all the lawn types Buffalo has the highest failure rate and is very costly due to its slow growth resulting in long term cultivation for roll on lawn or instant lawn solutions. Buffalograss is a low growing, commonly only 8 to 10 inches high, warm season perennial grass. ‘Palmetto’ are softer and have improved shade tolerance). Stands will be thinner in semi-shady areas. Buffalo grass is known for its low water usage, winter hardiness and low vertical growth habit. These traits significantly reduce labor, irrigation, mowing and fertilization costs. This native grass is a sod-forming species and uses water efficiently, having adapted over thousands of years to the periodic and prolonged droughts characteristic of the region. A drop spreader will improve evenness, but you can also seed by hand or with a shoulder spreader. For the best growth, plant buffalo grass in full sun and water it deeply. Although the grass appears yellow or brown, it is not from disease. As the stem touches the soil, it grows new roots to support the stem and foliage above. Broadcast seed at the rate of 4 to 6 pounds (1.8-2.7 kg.) Its ability to spread quickly makes it ideal for lawns that take a hammering from children or pets. After seeding, rake the area to bury buffalo grass seed ¼–½ inch deep. For turf production, buffalo grass is grown as a monoculture. Seed… We seeded them in June or July at a rate of 2-3 lbs. For these reasons, I have found buffalograss to be a low-maintenance lawn alternative that is worth growing. I normally spread half the seed in one direction and then spread the other half perpendicular to the first half of seed. per 1,000 square feet. Individual leaf blades may reach 10 to 12 inches in length, but they fall over and give the turf a short appearance. There are new forms being discovered and introduced every year, but the forms we have used at the arboretum have been Cody, Bowie, and Bison. Results may vary over 5,000 ft. elevations. Broadcasting at a higher seeding rate (50 to 100 Bear in mind, though, that Buffalo grass has a slower growth rate than Bermuda grass, making it a poorer choice for high-traffic areas. When irrigation is not available, plant buffalograss in April and May when there is adequate rainfall for seed germination. I lightly rake the area and then pack it in (drive over entire planting with a mower or tractor) to get good seed-to-soil contact. How Often to … The new Buffalograss will reach a mature height of 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm). In ideal conditions, they form a thick, dense lawn that can out compete weeds. Low Growth Habit . Management of weeds in your buffalograss both before planting and the first few years after establishment will, over time, reduce future weed control, watering, mowing and overall maintenance. Stolons, or above-ground plant stems, spread across the ground. Newer varieties of buffalograss (Bowie, Cody, and Sundancer) green up faster in the spring, stay green longer in the fall, spread quickly by stolons to cover a planting area and remain shorter. Buffalo Grass Disease Problems. In another study by Kim and Beard (1988), of eleven warm season and cool season turfgrasses, buffalograss showed the lowest average ET rate of 4.8 mmd-1. Faster establishment, higher density, lower growth rate, excellent winter hardiness, low water requirement, darker color, fine texture and a wide area of adaptation give Cody the edge as the choice for low maintenance areas. I have found buffalograss to be a valuable turf for open, sunny spaces, but keep in mind that it is not a miracle grass that can solve all your lawn problems. It should also be planted with the expectation that it will require less financial input and minimal work to maintain a dense, attractive turf. centers, 2 ½ inches (6 cm.) It can be mowed several times per year (2-3” min.) It spreads rapidly by surface runners and forms a dense, matted turf (great for lawns). Optimal Germination Temperature for Fine Fescue, North Carolina State University: Grass Selection, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Native Lawns: Buffalograss, Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery: Buchloe Dactyloides Plug, Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service: Buffalograss Lawns, University of Missouri Extension: Growing Buffalograss, University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Planting and Management Tips for Buffalograss, The Temperature Range for Winter Rye Grass, The Growth of Bahia Grass vs. Centipede Grass. In early Spring, mow to a height of 1 inch to remove the dormant grass. Planting with a grass seed drill on a firm, weed free seedbed at the rate of 2.5 to 5.0 pounds of pure live seed (PLS) is encouraged. Seed germination rate is good to excellent. Summary. This brings us to the question of just how often should a Buffalo lawn be mowed. Buffalograss needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and a well-draining soil to grow best. ft, but check the seeding rate recommendations to make sure. Preferring U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, this warm-season grass has a particular growth cycle you should understand so you can properly care for it. Then, the area should be tilled and rolled to promote strong buffalo grass root growth. Dyck Arboretum of the Plains is affiliated with Sundancer should be planted in locations receiving at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Once established, we have found it to be a tough, durable alternative to many cool-season grasses. This fast establishment makes these seedlings highly competitive with germinating weed seeds vying for the same soil space. The recommended mowing height varies from 1.5 to 4 inches (4 to 10 cm) depending on the intensity of management and the desired appearance. Seed improved cultivars of this grass no deeper than ¼ inch on fine textured soils and ¾ inch on coarser textured soils. A Buffalo lawn which is regularly cut too short will result in greater water evaporation from the soil, a stressed lawn and increased water usage. If Buffalo grass is maintained too high, then growth rates and thatch can increase more rapidly. There is no set mowing height, just mow to the look you desire. The rapid rate at which buffalo grass can regenerate after harvest (sod removal) has meant that vegetative methods of establishment remain the preferred method for cultivation (Aldous et al., 2014). Spreads quickly by rhizomes, forming a dense carpet. or left in place for a natural look. The most common diseases encountered are listed below: Brown Patch Disease. Seed in late spring to early summer when soil temps are 50 degrees or above. Clay based or heavy soils are preferred. Choose the store or farm location nearest to you to check availability and price. After germination, buffalo grass remains close to the ground and begins to spread after four weeks. It is recommended that you plant four to six pounds in every 1,000 square feet. In fact, a Buffalo lawn which is receiving adequate water and nutrients can grow up to a foot high every four weeks in the peak of summer. Buffalo grass only grows between 3 and 6 inches tall. Retaining a green color throughout the winter, cool-season grasses add some life to your lawn until the buffalo grass starts growing again in spring. I also lightly till (1/4-1/2 inch deep) the area before planting so that I have some loose soil to just cover the seed. Prairie is the only true native grass in North America and is recommended for use as a minimal maintenance turfgrass. Seed the cleared and tilled area with 3–5 pounds of buffalo grass seed per 1,000 square feet. The spreading stolons quickly fill the area for a dense turf that suffocates any struggling weeds. It requires temperatures above 80 degrees and high moisture to activate the disease. Several factors will determine the germination rate of grass seed. If your Buffalo lawn is experiencing rapid growth, then it will become very important to continue regular lawn mowing frequencies which will match the growth rates of the grass. Measure your lawn to know the total amount you should have. Proper establishment. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Buffalo - Running grass that forms a dense, coarse textured lawn that is hard wearing but slow growing. Keep in mind that every time the soil is tilled new weed seeds will germinate, which will need to be eradicated before spreading the seed. Buffalo grass only grows between 3 and 6 inches tall. Listed below are graphs showing the relative performance of WARM & COOL SEASON grass types in relation to each other for various factors. Kikuyu grass is renowned for its rapid lush green growth, drought hardiness, resistance to wear, and ability to survive gardener neglect. Faster establishment, higher density, lower growth rate, excellent winter hardiness, low water requirement, darker color, fine texture and a wide area of adaptation give Cody the edge as the choice for low maintenance areas. I water the whole area deeply the first watering to completely saturate the soil (just to the point water is running off) and then follow with frequent light watering until the seeds germinate in 14-21 days. It is one of the few native prairie grasses that can be used for low-maintenance lawns and other turf areas. A warm soil up to 110 F also encourages rapid germination and foliage growth. It thrives in our clay soils and stays relatively low. There are new forms being discovered and introduced every year, but the forms we have used at the arboretum have been Cody, Bowie, and Bison. deep. Usually you will only have to seed buffalograss at a rate of 1 ½ to 2 lbs. The spreading stolons quickly fill the area for a dense turf that suffocates any struggling weeds. Air temperature and soil to seed are a few factors that determine germination rates. Wait until soil temperatures range between 70 and 80 F for any seeding projects -- establishing buffalo grass in midspring to midsummer is the best time for this soil temperature. Can Zoysia Plugs Be Transplanted in Cold Months? The fine leaves stay a nice blue-green during the growing season, and it requires less mowing, watering, and fertilizing compared to our fescue or bluegrass lawns. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities. However, summer planting (June through July) is preferred for irrigated sites. Typically, if it is unhappy, you also will be unhappy with its overall appearance. Vigorous Growth Period The natural look of this native grass should be appreciated because it is adapted to our area. As long as adequate water is available, buffalo grass seeds germinate in 7 to 10 days in warm weather. Seeded lawns will have both male and female plants. If you are planting seeds, one of the key factors that will be influential to the success of the outcomes is the rate of planting. Buffalo grass needs the warmth for rapid establishment. A study in Texas of native and non-native grasses, buffalograss This second study will be further referenced throughout the remainder of this document as the “Growth Pattern It is the dominant species on the short-grass region of the central Great Plains. Maintaining a well-draining and nutrient-rich soil structure contributes to summer grass growing success because the ground holds the water longer for root uptake. We seeded them in June or July at a rate of 2-3 lbs. To avoid a brown lawn for winter, you can overseed with a cool-season turf species. The key is to spread grass seed at the optimal time of year and soil temperature for the species you’re growing. It will not grow well in low areas with periodic standing water or areas of shade. Grown from turf or runners. With a distinctive bluish-green hue, buffalo grass grows rapidly in summer. This shortgrass prairie native is a stellar alternative to the traditional lawn. But because this time coincides with extreme drought, you must water buffalo grass periodically to maintain its color and growth habit. These new forms of Buffalograss perform well in our area. With good moisture, this rate will achieve good cover in just a few months. I have found that several applications of Round-Up in the spring prior to planting is the best way to control weeds, especially Bermuda grass and bindweed. You can grow buffalo grass lawns by both seeding and sod. Buffalograss needs soil temperatures that are above 60⁰ F for germination to start. Summer plantings tend to have fewer weeds because of rapid establishment. Sandy soils may require amendments to aid establishment. You may choose to maintain your lawn at 1 inch, allow it to go un-mowed or any height in between. This natural dormancy color remains until spring. Buffalograss is a warm-season grass that spreads by stolons (runners) but not as aggressively as bermudagrass. 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