Buffalo Grass Sod
You’ll recognize Buffalo Grass sod the minute you see it! Popular due to its low maintenance, extremely low water requirements, and natural “prairie” look, it’s frequently used commercially along roadsides, highways, and in parks.
- Color: Gray-green
- Texture: Fine-leaved, native grass
- Sun/Shade Tolerance: Buffalo grass requires 6 – 8 hours of sunlight daily.
- Watering: A water-efficient grass with incredible durability, Buffalo grass can often survive on natural irrigation (rainfall).
- Mowing Height: Buffalo grass requires little to no care. While individual leaf blades may grow to 8 – 10 inches in length, they fall over and give the turf a short appearance.
Choosing Buffalo Grass Sod
Buffalo grass is a hearty grass that grows well in full sun and should have at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. It is drought periods, the grass will go dormant and will remain in this state until moisture returns. This turf is growing in popularity as water supply limitations are being implemented in more communities in Dallas, Fort Worth and throughout Texas.
This is a true native grass and gets its name because it was the original source of food for the American buffalo. Fossils have been discovered in Kansas that show that buffalo grass was growing there at least 7 million years ago. Its longevity demonstrates that buffalo grass is well adapted to the dry lands of the western prairies and plains. Besides feeding herds of native buffalo, buffalo grass provided the sod from which early settlers built their houses.
Where and When It Is Used
Buffalo grass is a warm season, perennial grass native to the Great Plains from Montana to Mexico. In Texas, it is commonly found from South Texas to the Texas Panhandle; but is rarely found on the sandy soils in the eastern part of the state or in the high rainfall areas of southeast Texas. It tends to have a better tolerance of cold temperatures than other warm-season turf grasses. It also grows better if the soil is not sandy.
When buffalo grass is planted in high rainfall areas or when it is irrigated and fertilized, bermuda grass and other weedy grasses will invade a stand of buffalo grass. Buffalo grass is best adapted to low rainfall areas (15 to 30 inches annually) or areas that receive thorough, but infrequent irrigation.
Buffalo grass is a low growing grass, commonly only 8 to 10 inches high. Individual leaf blades may reach 10 to 12 inches in length, but they fall over and give the turf a short appearance. Buffalo grass spreads by surface runners, or stolons, and seed. It forms a fine textured, relatively thin turf with a soft blue-green color. It does not possess underground stems, or rhizomes. This grass is destroyed quite readily by cultivation. For these reasons, it can be readily removed from flower beds and gardens.
Buffalo grass is not adapted to shaded sites or to sites that receive heavy traffic. Roadsides, school grounds, parks, open lawn areas, golf course roughs and cemeteries are good sites for buffalo grass in central, west and north Texas. It is particularly well suited for sites to be planted with bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers since it produces a relatively open, thin turf and requires little mowing. It is the ideal grass for those wanting a “native” landscape.
Caring For Buffalo Grass Sod
With irrigation, buffalo grass will remain green throughout the spring and summer. One inch of water per week is adequate to maintain a green buffalo grass turf. Without irrigation, it will turn brown and dormant during the dry summer months. As with fertilization, excessive water promotes Bermuda grass encroachment. Buffalo grass does not need fertilization, but it will respond to light applications of nitrogen. Nitrogen fertilization should not exceed 2 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per year. If Bermuda grass is undesirable in the lawn, avoid nitrogen fertilization.