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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 13, 2010

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Seeding an established buffalograss lawn to make it denser
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We have 5400 sq ft of existing Buffalo grass and would like to know if spreading Buffalo grass SEED would help the existing get more full? I can't seem to find the seed here or the Austin area? And, how often to water for how long? Isn't Buffalo grass tolerant for less water?


Yes, it should.  You can find seeds for sale at Native American Seed in Junction, Texas.  You might want to consider their Thunder Turf mix which includes three native sun turf grasses—Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) and Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite).  This is the mixture that the Wildflower Center research has shown to work best for native lawns for grass density and for keeping out weeds.  Native American Seed has another mix, Native Sun Turfgrass, that includes just the buffalograss and the blue grama.  You can also buy each of these grasses separately.  Since you already have some grass established, your major objective in sowing your seeds is to be sure they come in contact with the soil.  If you have bare spots and can rake the soil before you sow the seeds, this wouuld be ideal and the sooner you do this the better it will be.  You will have to water (unless there is rain) until the seeds have germinated and the plants are about an inch tall.  Please read Native American Seed's article, Planting Tips for Native Grasses, for more information on watering and other aspects of establishing and caring for native lawns. Our How to Article, Native Lawns: Multi-species, has specific instructions for watering your native lawn, as well as for mowing and feeding it.


More Turf Questions

Growth of non-native bermudagrass in Snelville GA
July 16, 2011 - How do you grow Bermuda grass successfully in the state of Georgia? Techniques in fertilization, lawn cutting and general maintenance. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Arlington, VA.
September 10, 2015 - Hi, could you please provide me with a recommendation for a native turf grass to plant in a large commercial area in Arlington, Virginia. Currently Kentucky 31 is being used, but we would like to iden...
view the full question and answer

Mowing the multi-species buffalo grass lawn
June 23, 2011 - I am planning on putting in a buffalo grass lawn in an area that is little used. I read that a mix of buffalo, blue grama, and curly mesquite is good for better cover but I am concerned about the blu...
view the full question and answer

Grass mixture for Spicewood TX
August 14, 2012 - I want to seed a bare sand limestone area about 2 acres in size. Assuming "normal" Texas hill country weather and the availability of moderate water for sprinkling is there one mixture that you reco...
view the full question and answer

Lawn care?
May 10, 2009 - I had red yucca planted in my garden last May. They were trimmed back by my lawn care people last winter and currently seem to be slowly growing back. However, the red flower stalk is not growing ba...
view the full question and answer

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