Buffalograss is a delicate yet very durable warm season grass variety. We want you to be comfortable with your selection, should you decide on this variety, and would like you to know as much as possible about particular issues unique to buffalograss.
Transplanting - Unlike most turfgrass varieties, Buffalograss will tend to go completely dormant (turn brown) within hours or days of transplanting. DO NOT be alarmed if this happens, but do continue to follow the Special Care and Management Recommendations, and monitor your newly transplanted Buffalograss for new signs of reassuring growth (green leaf or new root development). This Dormancy may extend from 2 days to three weeks depending on the circumstances of your installation. Since the Buffalograss may go dormant, there will be little visual signs about the health of the grass during the transplanting period so it is crucial you follow the Care & Management Recommendations carefully. It is important to note that Buffalograss is VERY tough but does not respond as do other varieties to the inputs of water, fertilizer or intensive management.
Requirement - Grows best in full sun. Should have at least 6 - 8 hours per day of direct sunlight. Good soil drainage is essential. Adapted to a wide range of soil types. Not suited for sandy soils, prefers heavy soils.
Mowing - 2 to 4 inches for home lawns, 1/2 - 4 inches for golf courses. Low maintenance areas may be mowed taller or not at all. Frequency is affected by amount of watering and fertilizer. Catching clippings is optional. Because Buffalograss is a naturally short grass that grows to 4 to 6 inches, mowing requirements are reduced. Buffalograss turf can be given a uniform appearance by mowing at a 2.5 inch height at three to four week intervals in late spring and two to three week intervals later in the season. Improved cultivars of buffalograss, like prairie, can also be mowed at lower heights (0.5 to 1.0 inches) for golf course fairway use. These lower heights will require more frequent mowing and increased management to maintain quality. The amount of supplemental water need to maintain a green turf and good stand quality is influenced by mowing management. Minimal mowing and higher cutting heights will allow buffalograss to maintain a vigorous root system. Removal of more than 1/3 of the leaf material will reduce root activity and growth, making plants more susceptible to moisture stress near the soil surface. Do not cut the grass by more than 1/3 its total height at any one mowing. Because of the aggressive stolon development, buffalograss may require edging along walks, driveways, shrubs and flower beds.
Fertilizing - For optimum results, apply fertilizer between June 15 and June 30. This nitrogen stimulates new tissue and is available during the period of active stolon development in July and August. If fertilizer is applied to an established buffalograss lawn, actual nitrogen levels should not exceed 2 lb. per 1000 square feet per year. Additional applications of nitrogen may be required on poor soils.
Weed Control - Avoid frequent watering, short mowing and over fertilizing. Minimize early season watering. Avoid 2-4,D and related products. Control broadleaf weeds in the fall by using labeled pre-emergence weed control products. Once established and properly managed, weed pressure in buffalograss is minimal. If herbicides are required, follow label directions explicitly. Plateau, Ronstar G, Dimension, Dacthal, Barricade, Pendulum and Surflan are preemergence products currently labeled for use on buffalograss. Except for Dacthal, Barricade, and Dimension, their use is restricted to certified applicators. A spring pre-emergent application for control of summer annual weeds, such as crabgrass, goose grass and spurge, should be applied when soil temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A second preemergence application in late summer or early fall will control winter annuals, such as henbit, chickweed and annual bluegrass.
Post emergence control of grassy or broadleaf weeds is best achieved with Confront and Buctril, available to certified applicators and labeled for use on buffalograss. Dormant buffalograss can be sprayed with Round-Up to control winter weeds. Fall application can be applied after the first frost and when the buffalograss turns straw-brown. Spring applications of Round-Up should not be applied to buffalograss if the turf is showing any green color. Round-Up applications applied to semi-dormant buffalograss will significantly delay green-up and could severely injure the buffalograss.
Note: Reference to trade or brand names is only for the convenience of the reader. Mention of a product does not constitute any endorsement, guarantee or warranty by H Bar H Turf Farms.
Watering - Deep soaking once a month during July - September for higher maintenance areas. Soak soil before winter if soil is dry. Occasional or no watering for low maintenance areas. After the establishment year, buffalograss lawns usually can be maintained with no watering beyond precipitation. The quality of a buffalograss lawn may, however, be enhanced with timely watering. In especially dry springs, watering when the turf begins to green up will insure a vigorous, dense lawn that is competitive with weeds. The greatest benefit from supplemental water is gained in late July through August during the period of active stolon growth. Irrigation applied at this time helps the stolons develop roots at the nodes, thus establishing new plants. Unfortunately, watering at this time will also promote weed growth. The period of time in which the turf exhibits a green color may be moderately extended in the fall with additional water if freezing temperatures do not occur.