En EspaÑol

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?

Share

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Need help with an invasive ground cover type plant filling in damaged areas in lawn.
November 25, 2009 - Since the drought this summer, there is an invasive ground cover type plant filling in the damaged areas in my lawn . It is dark greenish/purplish very small clover type plant, difficult to pull up an...
view the full question and answer

Will Habiturf work in Houston?
January 20, 2012 - I am looking to plant the parking strip between the sidewalk and street - about 6-7 feet wide. Would Habiturf work in Houston. The webside lists areas of Texas, but wasn't sure if Houston was incl...
view the full question and answer

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

Alternative for HABITURF® in Contra Costa County, CA
September 17, 2014 - We live in Kensington, just north of Berkeley, in the San Francisco area. We intend to get rid of our water consuming lawn and we are wondering what kind of alternative you would suggest. You don't s...
view the full question and answer

Garden problems from Centreville VA
July 23, 2011 - Plants die, trees won't grow. I've replaced the soil (6") twice. Replaced grass twice and planted new plants and tree. After two yrs, the tree is still the same size and the flowering bushes nea...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center