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?


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
1 rating

Thursday - April 23, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Special requirements for Density buffalograss in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Are there any special requirements for Density Buffalo beyond the requirements of other, more common, types of buffalo grass? Background: We live in NW Austin, and we recently installed density buffalo in our back yard (4/3/09). We put it into the ground the same day we received it, and even though it's been over 2 weeks, we are seeing almost no initial browning from shock, so things are looking really good. The grass is starting to grow some, and as far as I can tell, everything is good to go. The only other bit of information I think might be relevant is the type of dirt we put underneath it--it's half dillo-dirt, half sandy loam. I understand from your FAQ that this isn't the best dirt, but can work. I want to make sure this grass really succeeds, so wanted to know if you were aware of any special requirements or recomendations for Density Buffalo.


Mr. Smarty Plants learns something every day from the customers. We had not even heard of this cultivar of native Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) until your question. So, we went looking for information and found this article on Buffalograss Management Research by Dr. Kevin W. Frank, Assistant Professor of Turfgrass Science at Michigan State University. The research for the article was done while Dr. Frank was a graduate student at the University of Nebraska. Apparently this is a very fine grass for lawns or golf greens, and can profit, over time, from applications of nitrogen, as in lawn fertilizer. We could find no indication that the soils you used were inappropriate or would harm the development of the grass. Read the entire article referenced above for more specific information about the amounts of nitrogen to apply, and the results to expect.



More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Slope eroding in Martinsburg WV
May 05, 2010 - I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. My soil is shale/clay I am unable to grow grass it seems to burn up every year. It gets full sun and is on a hill. I have used topsoil and reseeded it...
view the full question and answer

Weeds in Buffalograss from Edmond OK
September 20, 2012 - We have a patch of buffalograss surrounded by patio/flower garden/vegetable garden. We like B-grass, but are getting a lot of weeds despite preemergents, and some bermuda had appeared. Are there h...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Galveston
February 12, 2012 - I'm looking for low maintenance, drought tolerant plants for Galveston, on the bay side, in a well drained area with morning sun. I was thinking of Phlox, Muhly grass, Lantana.....and I am looking f...
view the full question and answer

Controlling non-native Pennisetum frutescens (Naked fountain grass)
December 07, 2014 - Three years ago I bought a pennisetum frutescans grass from a reputable online nursery. It gets no supplemental water, but it is taking over my yard. It is almost 7 feet wide now. Can you tell me how ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of native grasses little bluestem and switchgrass
August 09, 2007 - If you drive east of Austin on Hwy 71, there is a bluish looking grass that has become very noticeable since the heavy rains in July. The blades grow straight up and each plant is in clump form. Do ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center