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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

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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Wednesday - May 01, 2013

From: Smithville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Pests, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Removing bermudagrass from buffalograss in Smithville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a lawn created two years ago with buffalo grass sod in Smithville, TX. Recently several areas of bermudagrass have started to flourish in the buffalo grass lawn. Can you recommend a herbicide that will eliminate or minimize the bermudagrass without killing the buffalo grass?

ANSWER:

Begin by reading From our How-to Article Native Lawns: Buffalograss to see if you planted Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) in enough sun (needs 6 hours or more of sun a day), prepared the lawn properly by clearing out weeds, etc. Also notice the last two paragraphs saying that you need mow only once a year, and also not to water too much because that encourages bermudagrass. Also follow the plant link to our webpage on this native grass to learn other characteristics. According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, buffalograss does grow natively in Bastrop County, TX. We always check on that to ensure that climate, soils and rainfall are suitable for the plant in question.

A previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer will help you with the separation of the bermudagrass and the buffalograss.

For more information, go to this UC Integrated Pest Management site on Bermudagrass. One thing in particular you must know: Both buffalograss and bermudagrass are members of the Poaceae (grass) family; therefore, both are monocots. There are herbicides which kill only monocots and those that kill only dicots. There are also herbicides which will scorch the earth and kill anything it touches. Use none of the above.

 

From the Image Gallery


Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

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