Saturday, June 26, 2010

Growing Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is found natively in the Great Plains of the United States, but this hardy perennial may be grown almost anywhere. Buffalo grass used to feed giant herds of buffalo, which is how the name of the plant is derived. The hardy, drought-resistant nature of the grass makes it a popular choice among farmers and gardeners even today.

Buffalo grass blades grow 8 to 12 inches high, but the natural bend of the grass often makes it look shorter. The fine, thin texture and bluish-green color makes buffalo grass an attractive lawn addition. Unlike many turf grasses, buffalo grass may be easily removed from garden areas if desired.

Buffalo grass does not require a lot of water to thrive, which makes it a good choice for areas which may experience drought and low rainfall periods. The plant is also very cold-tolerant and has no known disease or pest problems. Clay and loam soils are best for buffalo grass, but it will also grow in rocky limestone soil. Buffalo grass will not grow well in sandy soil types.

To plant buffalo grass seed or place sod on your lawn, till the soil to a depth of 2 inches. Rake the soil to create an even, level surface and pull any weeds you find. Plant seeds or place sod just as the weather begins to warm, when there is no longer any danger of frost.

It's best to grow buffalo grass in areas which receive low rainfall (approximately 15 to 30 inches per year). In very moist or wet environments, it's likely that weed-like grasses will begin to grow in your buffalo grass turf. Because buffalo grass is such a low-maintenance plant, the grass will not respond well to frequent fertilization and care. To properly grow this turf grass, simply plant buffalo grass in well-drained, sunny soils and do not over-manage it.