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
2 ratings

Friday - January 14, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Reseed Buffalograss in Early Spring in San Antonio
Answered by: Stephen Scace


When is best time to put down Buffalo grass seed in 78260 area. How much dirt should I put over existing sodded buffalo grass, which is now sparse?


The best time to sow Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) seed in Central Texas is early spring. Reseeding over existing turf is a lot like planting a new lawn from seed, without the deep preparation of the soil that would disturb the existing sod. Our How-To Article, "Native Lawns: Multi-Species", might be helpful.

Briefly, you'll want to add enough soil–remember that Buffalograss doesn't like sand–to cover the seeds and hold some moisture. Be sure to keep the soil moist for the first ten days, watering every day if necessary, then water twice a week for a month and once a week for another two months during the growing season.

Before you proceed with this project, it might be worthwhile to figure out why your existing sod has become sparse. If the conditions that caused thinning of your turf continue, your newly seeded plants won't thrive, either. Was the soil prepared adequately before the sod was laid? Is the soil too sandy for Buffalograss? Does it get at least six hours of sun daily from March through November?


More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for East Texas that require no mowing or watering
June 16, 2010 - What native grass can I grow in deep East Texas that would require no supplemental watering and no mowing?
view the full question and answer

Native grass to replace St. Augustine in Houston
July 18, 2009 - I read your answer to the question on the Houston Chronicle's website in relation to watering St. Augustine grass. You referred to St. Augustine as non-native, but from what I can gather St. Augusti...
view the full question and answer

Native aparejograss and Water-cress at a spring in Horeshoe Bay TX
February 24, 2012 - AT a small spring that seeps from a rocky hill on my ranch near Austin, a stringy grass called aparejograss has replaced the watercress that used to be there. Should I be worried? Does the appearance...
view the full question and answer

Cutting Juncus effusus back from Bellevue WA
November 18, 2010 - I read your posts about Juncus effusus and just have one follow-up question. When is the best time to cut them back to the ground - before winter or early spring? I live in the Pacific NW. I recent...
view the full question and answer

Seed Habiturf on top of existing St. Augustine from Austin
January 26, 2012 - We don't want to rip up an existing St. Augustine lawn (potential HOA problems), but we'd like to go native grasses (like Habiturf?). Is there anything we can just seed on top of our present lawn a...
view the full question and answer

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