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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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Friday - October 23, 2009

From: Salado, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Need some help with a Buffalo grass planting in Salado, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Recently we planted buffalo grass sod in the spring of 2007. During the summer I had a problem with barnyard grass due to a lot of rain. During 2008 I had a problem with nut grass. I had been advised to use "sedge hammer" to control the nut grass. But, the "sedge hammer" seemed to kill the buffalo grass. This year I used a herbicide called "certainty". It seemed to control the nut grass without killing the buffalo grass. I have several areas where the buffalo grass has died and the area is bare. Also, there are several patches where common bermudagrass is growing. What would cause the buffalo grass to die in several areas and is there anything I can do to control the bermudagrass? Also, is there fertilizer I can use to green-up the grass and make it thick? I have set the mower blade to 3 1/2". I guess I am asking how to take care of buffalo grass. Your advice will be appreciated.

ANSWER:

The first thing we need for you to do is read our "How To" article; Native Lawns: Buffalo Grass. Two other sites that could prove useful are the University of Missouri Extension Service and Stock Seed Farms.

From your reading, you have learned that Buffalo grass is a warm season grass, so it is approaching its dormant season and won't start growing again until Spring. Fertilizing now wouldn't do much for the Buffalo grass, but the Bermuda would probably love it.

The bare spots could be effects of the herbicide use. You can re-seed these in the Spring following the directions in the "How To" article.

Two articles from the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program, one on  Bermudagrass  and another on Nutsedge,  give some methods, both mechanical and chemical, for their management.

Regarding herbicides, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center neither advocates for nor condemns the use of chemical control. We only ask that these agents be used as judiciously as possible, that all label directions are carefully followed, and that the least amount of chemical necessary to achieve the goal be applied.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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