Will a Buffalo Grass Lawn Work For You?

Buffalo Grass is a short native warm season grass that is being used in a lot of lawns in the Midwest. It spreads by runners like strawberry plants. It is not the problem that bermuda grass is because it is not as competitive. It grows well in full sun, preferring dry, clay or average soil, but not sandy. Buffalo Grass should be planted from about the first of May to the middle of July. It won't germinate and grow until the soil temperature is 60 degrees or higher. To establish:

* Kill existing vegetation first.
* Till the soil about an inch deep.
* Evenly distribute 1 to 3 pounds seeds per 1000 square feet.
* Rake or work the seeds into the top one half inch of soil.
* Pack the soil as hard as possible with a lawn roller, feet, or motorized vehicle.
* Adding a light straw mulch helps hold moisture.
* Keep moist until germination is detected (usually about 7 days), then quit watering. 

During the first season when the weeds are about 6 inches tall, mow the weeds and grass to about a 3 inch height. Do this as often as necessary. 

In Missouri we have enough rain and good soil that Buffalo Grass lawns tend to get a little weedy no matter how old the planting. A few mowings during the spring and summer will reduce the size and competitiveness of the weeds in favor of the Buffalo Grass. It also loves heavy foot traffic which tends to eliminate the weeds.
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