If your summers are hot and dry and you’re tired of fertilizing, weeding & watering the lawn, (or can’t because of watering restrictions), then buffalo grass might be just what you’re looking for as a lawn alternative. Buffalo grass is a hardy native grass of the central North American prairie. Natural populations are found near Estevan, Saskatchewan and Melita, Manitoba. It forms a dense sod by spreading stolons. Some authorities consider it our only indigenous turfgrass. You will notice that it greens-up in the spring about a month later than bluegrass. Buffalo grass stays green all growing season with little care. Withstands drought. After the first killing frost, it goes dormant. We treat our buffalo grass seeds with potassium nitrate to enhance germination. Seedlings emerge within 30 days of sowing. Only if required, apply fertilizer late in the spring or apply a high-slow release type fertilizer when grass is dormant. Buffalo grass is resistant to many of the stressors that bother Kentucky Bluegrass. However, it is not tolerant of excessive foot traffic. It’s best to establish buffalo grass as an unmolested lawn or to control erosion on slopes. Not recommended as a turf for sport such as soccer, football and baseball or for heavy traffic lawn areas.
How to Grow
Sow seed late April through early June. Rake the area to be planted vigorously to remove debris and accumulated thatch. Add top soil to fill in any low spots then rake level. Sow seed at a rate of 2-2.5 kg/90 sq. m. (5 lb/1000 sq. ft.) Apply twice at half rate over the area in a criss-cross pattern. Rake the soil and seed lightly to cover. Water with a fine spray for two or three weeks to keep the seed bed moist during germination. Be patient as Buffalo Grass can take up to 30 days to sprout. Several sowings may be required to establish a permanent stand.