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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.

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

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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!

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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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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.

 

 

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