Monday, May 25, 2009

Watching Grass and Weeds Grow: Week 9

It's Memorial Day. I'm sitting in the shade with a beer! We had several cool, cloudy days with light rain, which is unusual for May, and now it's back to the usual hot and dry.

The Buffalo grass continues to spread, and weeding by hand is making slow progress. The grass is spreading and rooting under the spurge where the dirt is cooler and moist all day.

Pics are coming, I promise.


Hung said...

How often do you water your lawn now that the runners are starting to spread?

Anonymous said...

I'm dying to see pics! I've got a 1200sq ft area that I'd like to have some low-water grass in, but information about this stuff is pretty thin. It sounds almost too good to be true-- low water, heat-tolerant, no-mow grass that arrives in the mail and goes in to the ground in about four hours. If yours works, count me in!

Lazy Gardens said...

Hung -
I started out with a 2x daily watering at 5AM and 1PM, 5 minutes each, to pamper the root systems.

I'm now watering once a day at 8 minutes, and plan to water once a day until the runners have merged and rooted in most of the remaining bare spots. That should be by the end of June, which is just 3 months since planting.

The more humid part of summer starts in early July. That's when I'll start skipping days, and increasing the time: every other day, every third day, etc. to encourage the roots to go deeper.

I didn't expect to on see much, if any, water saving the first year because this is the establishment year.

Anon - The low water is AFTER you get it established. But it hasn't needed mowing yet, it's sort of "fluffy" and shaggy but not getting tall like Bermuda does.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this information. I am considering using the UC Verde Buffalo grass in a courtyard to fill the 2 to 6 inches of space between the flagstones. Everything I have found so far makes me think it will work great but I do have one question. Do you have any idea how aggressive the runners are? I am concerned about the grass over taking the stones. I don’t want end up in a constant battle with the grass to keep it off the flagstone.

Lazy Gardens said...

Anon -
It's too aggressive at spreading to use as a crack-filler. Each original 1-inch diameter plug is now a mat of grass and spreading runners 12-15 inches or more across. It's easy enough to keep off a patio or sidewalk, but it would thoroughly cover any stones that weren't in a traffic path.

There are some things you can do:
1 - plant low-growing plants that don't send out runners, like Thyme, alyssum or dichondra

2 - use packed "1/4 minus" gravel and a polymer stabilizer to keep it from scattering

3 - the Mexican solution is to pack the cracks with shards of rock, pounded long-ways into the cracks so they are stable. Tedious but it works for a long time.