En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 30, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Weed and feed for buffalograss
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is a good winterizer or weed & feed for buffalo grass? I live in Southwest Austin.

ANSWER:

Well, see, one of the best things about planting Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) is that you DON'T have to put on weed and feed materials or do special "winterizing". It is native here, is adapted to our weather, can get what it needs from our soils, and has medium water needs. Since many of the "weeds" you don't want in your buffalograss happen to also be grasses, anything you buy that will "weed" the area will kill the buffalograss just as blithely as it will the weedy grasses. There is no way to explain to an herbicide that one grass is good and the other ones are all bad.

This Texas Cooperative Extension website has excellent information on the planting, cultivation and maintenance of buffalograss. We would call your special attention to these lines in the "Maintenance" section: "Buffalograss does not need fertilization but will respond to light applications of nitrogen. If bermudagrass is undesirable in the lawn, avoid nitrogen fertilization." Further, in commenting on the amount of moisture required, it is noted that medium irrigation during the spring and summer will keep buffalograss green, but "As with fertilization, excessive water promotes bermudagrass." We think you'll agree that the last thing you want in your buffalograss is bermudagrass, a grass imported as a lawn and grazing grass, which has become intensively invasive in flower beds and lawns everywhere.

In summary, you have made an excellent choice, for this part of the state, in planting buffalograss for your lawn. You neither need nor do we encourage you to use any other "additives", herbicides or pesticides. The buffalograss does not require them and you don't want them in the runoff from your property into the water supply.

 


Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Problem with Habiturf. Is it dormant or dead?
July 24, 2013 - We planted habiturf in spring 2012. It's beautiful. But since last summer, we have had one area that seems to go dormant much more rapidly than the rest, even though it receives the same amount of ...
view the full question and answer

Grass for Seattle Arboretum
May 20, 2012 - I am writing to you on behalf of the Arboretum at South Seattle Community College Arboretum. I am interested in Panicum virgatum Switch Grass as a plant for a very heavy clay garden in our Arboretum a...
view the full question and answer

Chigger Control in Habiturf from Plano, TX
April 08, 2015 - We converted our back yard in Plano, Texas to Habiturf last spring/summer and have a nice lawn; however, for the first time since we have lived in this house for 32 years, the lawn was full of chigger...
view the full question and answer

Seed source for Carex texensis from Louisville KY
May 02, 2012 - Your reply to my question re a grass for my Kentucky home with cistern only water available was much appreciated, Carex texensis was recommended. I am unable to find this product for sale other than ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center