Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

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

Difficult lawn redo in Austin, TX area.
April 01, 2010 - In Oak Hill section of Austin and our 2 year old house had St Augustine dumped atop the raped soil. After the drought of 09 it is all dead. We have most of our large yard native but need grass aroun...
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

Low sedge for lawn in Bakersfield, CA
June 19, 2009 - We have a small area for a lawn, but would like to get away from a traditional "lawn". Can you recommend a sedge grass that would act like a lawn (not much foot traffic)that can be mowed once in a w...
view the full question and answer

Replacement of lawn with native grasses in Maryland
August 31, 2007 - I live in west central Maryland within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. My soil is heavy clay and nutrient deficient. I have/am planting native flower beds and a vegetable garden in an effort to reduce...
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

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