En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Controlling weeds in Buffalograss in Pflugerville, TX

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

Saturday - September 26, 2009

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Controlling weeds in Buffalograss in Pflugerville, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, After a visit to the wildflower center a few years ago, my husband and I decided to do buffalo grass from sod in our new house. We love the way it looks, but I've been neglecting it and the weeds have overrun parts of it. I've pulled them out or in areas raked them out, but now I have ugly bare spots. Is there anything I can do to: 1. get the buffalo grass to grow back in the bare spots 2. control weeds, I'm having to pull them non-stop, is there anything I can use that would kill weeds but not the buffalo grass?

ANSWER:

If you have not already done so, please read our How-To Article Native Lawns: Buffalograss. It should answer several of your questions about filling in the grass and keeping weeds out. You are correct, as you will see in the article, in saying that the weeds seem to grow faster than the Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss). Not only do you need to keep the weeds out by hand-pulling, but you need to learn which is buffalograss and which is weed.  In particular, when reading the How-ToArticle, take note of the final section: "After You Plant."

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends neither for nor against herbicides; however, in this case many of the "weeds" will be, like buffalograss, monocots or grasses. Some of those grasses will also be native, and therefore very vigorous. There are wide-spectrum herbicides that kill everything, including plants you probably didn't want harmed. There are herbicides for dicots, or broad-leaved plants, that should not harm the grasses, but, again, with a little breeze you can easily damage a tree or shrub or herbaceous blooming plants, all of which are broad-leaved, too. 

Also, as you read the article, you may realize that perhaps you have been over-watering the buffalograss; once it is established, it can get along without irrigation. The weeds, on the other hand, will grow even more happily and lush with additional watering. You will have to water the new patches until they are established, whether you seed or re-sod those bare spaces.


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas
October 13, 2009 - I just built an in ground pool in Plano, Texas and now want to landscape around it on my own. I am curious what plants/shrubs you recommend. There will be plants/shrubs on three sides of the pool. ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Shaded North Slope in Ohio
January 03, 2013 - I have a shaded north hillside which needs erosion control plants. Mostly moss and very thin grass grows there now. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Identifying native sedges
October 14, 2013 - What's the best way to identify a specific sedge ?
view the full question and answer

Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
March 17, 2008 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of rain, oxblood, and copper lily bulbs
November 30, 2012 - I have Rain Lily, Oxblood Lily, and Copper Lily bulbs out of the ground, that are putting out some green growth. I would like to plant them soon. Is it okay to plant now and in December, or do I hav...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center