Monday, June 8, 2009

Watching Grass Grow Week 11: Baby's First Haircut

I wasn't planning to mow the lawn until after the summer rainy season started, but I noticed that the grass nearest the sprinklers was tall enough to block the spray. That gives it more water, it grows even better and it's a self-feeding monster.

June 3, before the mowing, showing the obvious clumps where the plugs were planted.

June 6, after mowing. There's not much difference, except that the highest clumps were shortened a couple of inches. The grid pattern is still obvious.

It's making nice turf in spots. The grass has thinner blades than Bermuda, and makes a softer lawn. It's easy to mow, not nearly as "juicy" as rye or bluegrass.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just planted about 3000 sf of UC Verde here in coastal San Diego. It's been about a week. I notice some of the plugs are getting a bit taller, and the old lawn we treated with Roundup looks like it might be greening up again. What was your watering schedule? Your lawn looks great at 12 week?

Lazy Gardens said...

Anon -
Keep spraying the old lawn with Roundup between the plugs to make sure it stays dead (especially if it was Bermuda, which can come back from the grave better than Freddy Kruger). While the plugs are small you can drop a paper cup over them to protect them from overspray. When the runners start spreading, you'll have to hand-weed the old stuff that revives.

I used a moisture meter to adjust the timing: gave a lot of water until the meter was reading WET as deep as I could shove it, then backed off to what would keep it there.

After the initial soaking, I watered twice a day for 5 minutes each time for a while (5AM and 2PM) to make sure the surface was constantly moist enough to encourage runners to root, then went to watering in the early morning when the plugs were clearly thickening up and runners coming. I think it was still 5 minutes x2 having the start times both early.

Now - 3 months into the project, it's every other day in the morning x2. I didn't quite double the watering time - it went from 5 minutes to 8 minutes. And I'm still testing with the moisture meter to keep it in the moist to wet range. I haven't

When the summer humidity arrives, I'll drop to every third day, then every fourth day, increasing the time and decreasing the frequency.

Next year is when the real water savings should kick in, although we're already using less water on the lawn than the neighbors with the same size lawn in Bermuda. tells you how to find out how muchg water your sprinklers are producing.

Hung said...

Congratulations on establishing a beautiful buffalo grass lawn. My lawn is in week 6. Lots of runners, but still sparse looking. I hope my lawn looks as full as your in week 12. My friend who established his buffalo grass lawn last year is experiencing a re-immergent of bermuda grass. He thougth he was able to kill off all the bermuda with RoundUp. He is currently trying a selective herbicide to kill off the bermuda. If that doesn’t work he plans to try and dig out the bermuda.

Anonymous said...

Hung -
I'm using one of those v-shaped weed removers on the Bermuda.

It's a really tough grass to get rid of.