Buffalo grass is an extremely sturdy plant that can be used for turf, ground cover and meadows. It is native to the United States and grows abundantly in areas west of the Mississippi River. It can be found in almost every area of the United States and Canada where there is moderate to warm temperatures during the summer months.
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Different Brands of Buffalo Grass Seed
There are several different brands on the market Turffalo and Tech Turf brands are hybrids that were specifically designed to produce thick turf and ground cover. Bowie and Cody brands also are widely used for turf and ground cover as well as for meadow and areas where a longer, taller grass is needed.
Best Time to Plant
Spring and summer are the best times to plant. Even the hardiest forms must be planted in soil that has reached a constant temperature of 60 degrees F. Planting in soil with temperatures lower than 60 degrees will result in a slower germination period as well as delays in the plant’s natural development. Avoid planting within 70 to 75 days of the first frost. This gives the plants ample time to take root and begin their normal growth cycles.
Where To Plant
All types of buffalo grass need as much sunlight as possible if they are expected to thrive. The rule of thumb for this type of grass is approximately 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. When planting, making sure it has plenty of direct sunlight is very important if the lawn is expected to remain vibrant green and lush. Minimal amounts of shade are preferable if optimum growth is expected.
Buffalo grass is extremely hardy and can be planted in high traffic areas or anywhere a thick, lush ground cover is needed. Golf courses often choose buffalo or hybrid grasses that are derived from it because of its ability to produce a uniform look, texture and feel. Its soft, extremely thick cover is perfect for greens where golf balls must be able to roll smoothly without any type of hindrance.
How To Plant
To properly plant buffalo grass and raise it from seed, the ground must be tilled to a depth ranging anywhere from 8 to 12 inches. This depth is needed to allow the root systems to take hold and establish an efficient network of roots. Without an adequate root system, growth will be slowed considerably. Because roots are how grasses take in moisture and nutrients, an insufficient root system will dramatically affect the look and feel of the lawn. Properly tilling the ground before planting allows roots to grow and spread evenly.
To apply – 2 to 3 pounds of seed should be spread evenly over approximately 1,000 square feet. This averages out to about 70 to 105 seeds per each square foot to be covered. For small lawns, seeds should be spread across the surface and raked into the tilled soil. For larger plots of land, seed drills and spreaders will make quick work of the planting process. Once the seed has been spread and worked thoroughly into the soil, rolling the ground will ensure the seeds stay at the proper depth. Seeds that are planted at the proper depth will take hold and grow at a much faster rate than those that end up close to the surface.
After the seeds have been planted and the soil rolled, watering is needed to complete the process and adequately hydrate the soil. Irrigating the soil will ensure the seeds planted at deeper level remain moist until germination takes place. Water is held for longer periods of time at deeper levels. This is why buffalo seeds planted at an 8 inch depth grow faster and more efficiently than those planted at shallow levels.
Buffalo grass is excellent when planted as ground cover or as a meadow grass. It grows as high as 3 to 5 inches before it begins to sprout seed heads. It is capable of producing an extremely thick, cushiony lawn suitable for high traffic areas as well as the smooth ball play required by golfers. With proper hydration and an abundance of sunlight, buffalo grass is one of the hardiest ground covers available. In most cases, fertilizers aren't necessary, but if they are used will increase the grass’ thickness and growth.