Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - March 12, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Buffalograss as lawn replacement in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I have just moved into a house that has a yard full of weeds. I was planning on killing the existing ground cover and starting buffalo grass, when I came upon several articles on the web talking about Turffalo grass - a Texas Tech hybrid buffalo grass. What do you know about this new variety and would you recommend it in place of a native buffalo grass, in other words, is it worth the up front cost? I have heard that buffalo grass never grows in thick enough to choke out weeds and that weeding is always a concern with a buffalo grass yard, especially at the borders where neighboring yards still have Bermuda grass. Thanks for your advice.

ANSWER:

The Wildflower Center does have some Turffalo growing, but it has been in only a short time. Here is what our Director of Horticulture, Andrea DeLong-Amaya has to say about it:

"We planted some last spring that was donated to us by the company. It is featured in the Formal Home Owner Inspiration Garden and has filled in nicely after installation. It will be telling to see how it wears over time, but so far so good."

Joe Marcus, Wildflower Center horticulturist, says that for Turffalo, like all buffalo grass, weeding is going to be a concern.

Turfallo is the same species as any other cultivar of Buffalograss, Bouteloua dactyloides (formerly Buchloe dactyloides). It is simply a selection with improved growth characteristics and color. Buffalograss - Turfallo included - does not compete well with Bermudagrass in most situations.

You will have to answer the cost question for yourself. If you intend to use a Buffalograss of some flavor, then Turffalo may be a good choice. If you're on the fence about switching to Buffalograss, then you'll have a lot of issues, pro and con, to factor into the equation.

For comparisons of Turffalo with other varieties of buffalo , see Mean Turfgrass Quality and Other Ratings of Buffalo Grass.

 

More Turf Questions

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance, water and height lawn
September 10, 2007 - We would like to replace our lawn that covers a large area of our front and back yard and is watered daily and twice a day in summertime with drought resistant plants. Mr. Smarty Plants, could you rec...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and buffalo grass mixes
October 05, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX and have visited the Wildflower Center in the past and enjoyed the display of native grass mixes. Can you tell me about the variations of buffalograss mixes... which ones are most...
view the full question and answer

Process of converting from lawn to wildflower meadow in New Jersey
March 17, 2006 - I live in northern New Jersey and have an acre of property which is currently a grassy lawn. I would like to make a meadow where the lawn is. What is the process to convert from a lawn to a meadow? Th...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant grass with little need for mowing for Hill Country of Texas
November 17, 2011 - What grass would you recommend for the hill country of Texas that is drought tolerant and does not need frequent mowing?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.