Planning Considerations

Sunlight
Buffalograss does best in areas receiving at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Morning sun is critical.

Soil Type
Buffalograss will grow in most soil types except for course textured sand based soils. Addition of organic matter (compost, etc.) in coarse soils is beneficial.

Drainage
Buffalograss does not tolerate standing water for extended periods of time. It is recommended to correct drainage problems prior to seeding.

Soil Fertility and pH
A soil test will provide you with the information necessary to adjust your soil’s fertility level for optimum establishment and growth for your buffalograss lawn. The pH of your soil is an important consideration. The optimum level for your lawn is between 6.0 and 7.5. It is necessary to correct the pH prior to planting since these type of amendments need to be incorporated into the soil to become effective. Your local cooperative extension office (in the blue pages of your phone book) provide you with access to soil testing, recommendations, and proper methods to apply these soil amendments. In general apply a “starter” fertilizer, available at most garden stores, at rates recommended for other lawn species, even if buffalograss is not listed on the label.

Lawn History
One aspect that is frequently overlooked when planning a new yard is what herbicides have been applied to the area in the last 12 to 18 months. If pre-emergence herbicides have been frequently used in the past, you will need to check the residual effect on the label of the particular herbicide. These pre-emergence herbicides are designed to inhibit the germination of weeds but they may also inhibit the germination of your new grass. Your local cooperative extension office can provide assistance in making this determination.

Planting Date
Buffalograss seed should be planted during the spring and summer months once the soil temperature has reached 60oF (16oC) and is on the rise. Spring plantings are generally best because the higher frequency of precipitation would reduce the irrigation requirements to maintain moist soil. Planting too early in the Spring, however, may increase weed competition during establishment. If the site has access to irrigation, delay planting until crabgrass begins to germinate and appear in the soil, cultivate the crabgrass stand, and then plant. The “cutoff” date for late season planting depends upon your geographic location. A simple rule to follow is not to plant within 75 days of the average first frost date for your location. The newly established plants must have time to develop adequate rooting prior to the first frost.