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

Shallow Rooted Wildflowers for MA
March 25, 2015 - Do you have any suggestions for wildflowers that would be safe to grow on a capped landfill site? They would need to have roots no deeper than 24 inches.
view the full question and answer

Erosion Solution for Lorton, VA
February 07, 2014 - We have a steep slope in our common area of our homeowners association. Trees that were planted have died. It is a large area around a pond. What should we plant that will hold the soil? The soil...
view the full question and answer

New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
October 27, 2009 - While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses an...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a property near a conservation area in MD
July 18, 2011 - Can you tell me what native plants and the type of landscaping that would be good to plant in front of a forest conservation area that is on a steep hill behind our future house? It is located in Manc...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
June 29, 2012 - I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center