06 June 2007

Buffalo Circles

Well, the buffalo grass is getting tall and green. I sodded these two circles in our front lawn in early November 2006 (last year) and they seem to be doing pretty well thus far. I used Buffalo grass 'Prairie' from Turfgrass America. Maintenance hasn't been TOO bad thus far--haven't watered them a bit since they were first established. But, I have been faithfully trolling the circles and pulling our the nut grass (oo, the bastard nut grass!) and bermuda grass (oh, the damn bermuda!). Actually, I'm currently fearing that the entire circle is really just tall bermuda grass...I find it hard to tell the difference between bermuda and buffalo, and I think only time will tell.

I had a chance encounter with some of the folks at the Wildflower Center (full disclosure, I was writing this article about them), and they mentioned that buffalo grass is kind of a nightmare. It's not necessarily a shining star for the native lawn movement, because it can be patchy and weedy. That's because buffalo grass would really grow naturally in a more clumpy or clustered way. The better native lawn, they feel, is a mixture: buffalo grass, Texas grama and blue grama. So all the grasses grow to fill in the spaces and make a nice carpet. Texas grama isn't commercially available, but blue grama is. So, in March, I seeded these circles with blue grama purchased from Native American Seed. It sprouted readily and I think I can see it's smaller green blades in the buffalo forest.

It's going to be interesting to see how these circles evolve over time. (By the way, the lawn in the back of the photo is the remaining piece of St. Augustine in our front yard. We plan on removing that this Fall and replacing with crushed granite and plants.)

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