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FutureStarrWhen to Plant Buffalo Grass in Colorado
Buffalo grass will grow best at elevations lower than about 6,500 feet and in very sunny areas. It is advisable to look at an established buffalo grass lawn before you decide to plant your own. Compared with Kentucky bluegrass, buffalo grass lawns need less water, fertilizer and mowing. However, buffalo grass lawns tend to go dormant and turn brown earlier in the fall and become green later in the spring than Kentucky bluegrass.
I have found buffalograss to be a valuable turf for open, sunny spaces, but keep in mind that it is not a miracle grass that can solve all your lawn problems. The natural look of this native grass should be appreciated because it is adapted to our area. It should also be planted with the expectation that it will require less financial input and minimal work to maintain a dense, attractive turf. For these reasons, I have found buffalograss to be a low-maintenance lawn alternative that is worth growing.These new forms of Buffalograss perform well in our area. In ideal conditions, they form a thick, dense lawn that can out compete weeds. In marginal situations, weeds can become problematic, requiring weed control through herbicides or manual eradication. We apply a broadleaf weed control in the fall to eliminate henbit, dandelions, bindweed and other broadleaf weeds. Management of weeds in your buffalograss both before planting and the first few years after establishment will, over time, reduce future weed control, watering, mowing and overall maintenance.
There are several advantages of using buffalo grass for lawns. It has good drought tolerance and stands up well to wear. Irrigation, if carefully done, can be beneficial in establishing stands and in keeping an attractive and serviceable turf. Improperly done, watering can cause the buffalo grass to be overrun by other grasses and broadleaf weeds. This low growing grass requires little mowing to give it a uniform appearance. Buffalo grass has a low fertility requirement, and it often will maintain good density without supplemental fertilization.Buffalo grass will grow on heavy and compacted soils. However, it is easier to start and keep on good loam soils. When possible, if any construction is to be done, the topsoil should be saved and returned to the lawn area after construction is completed. Heavy soils may be improved by applying a layer of good quality organic matter (peat moss, aged manure or compost) to a depth of 1 - 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) over the surface. This should be done before final tilling and seed preparation. Buffalo grass does not have good salt tolerance. If salt problems are common in the area, a soil test can determine potential success of a buffalo grass planting. (Source: www.windriverseed.com)