En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - March 12, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Buffalograss as lawn replacement in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I have just moved into a house that has a yard full of weeds. I was planning on killing the existing ground cover and starting buffalo grass, when I came upon several articles on the web talking about Turffalo grass - a Texas Tech hybrid buffalo grass. What do you know about this new variety and would you recommend it in place of a native buffalo grass, in other words, is it worth the up front cost? I have heard that buffalo grass never grows in thick enough to choke out weeds and that weeding is always a concern with a buffalo grass yard, especially at the borders where neighboring yards still have Bermuda grass. Thanks for your advice.

ANSWER:

The Wildflower Center does have some Turffalo growing, but it has been in only a short time. Here is what our Director of Horticulture, Andrea DeLong-Amaya has to say about it:

"We planted some last spring that was donated to us by the company. It is featured in the Formal Home Owner Inspiration Garden and has filled in nicely after installation. It will be telling to see how it wears over time, but so far so good."

Joe Marcus, Wildflower Center horticulturist, says that for Turffalo, like all buffalo grass, weeding is going to be a concern.

Turfallo is the same species as any other cultivar of Buffalograss, Bouteloua dactyloides (formerly Buchloe dactyloides). It is simply a selection with improved growth characteristics and color. Buffalograss - Turfallo included - does not compete well with Bermudagrass in most situations.

You will have to answer the cost question for yourself. If you intend to use a Buffalograss of some flavor, then Turffalo may be a good choice. If you're on the fence about switching to Buffalograss, then you'll have a lot of issues, pro and con, to factor into the equation.

For comparisons of Turffalo with other varieties of buffalo , see Mean Turfgrass Quality and Other Ratings of Buffalo Grass.

 

More Turf Questions

Mixing of bluebonnets and buffalograss in a lawn
April 22, 2007 - I have moved into a house with a yard full of weeds. I would like to plant Buffalograss but understand Buffalograss is sparce and difficult to keep the weeds out. So, I was considering mixing it wit...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in lawn in Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 03, 2008 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I have an erosion control question. I have a growing problem with erosion on one side of my house. The soil from the side of my house slopes down about 8" in about 3 feet to ...
view the full question and answer

Environmentally friendly and drought resistant alternatives to St. Augustine grass
September 28, 2006 - As a member of the planning committee of our property owners association in Wimberley TX, we are researching ways to make our landscape environmentally friendly and drought resistant. We have 60,000 ...
view the full question and answer

Lawn grass for Erath County, TX
October 02, 2012 - We live in Erath County in TX on ranch land. We are relatively dry. Our soil is combination of clay and red soil (brought in for building pad), and sandy. We have a sloped area, about 30%, that we w...
view the full question and answer

Source for nitrates and phosphorus (P205) for lawn care
July 04, 2008 - I recently supplied soil samples from my back yard to my local extension here in Austin. I have a hybrid Bermuda turf grass (TIF 419) that has had its share of ups and downs, and wanted to assess the ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center