Sunday, October 19, 2014

Watching Grass Grow: Week Eleventy To Mow or Not to Mow, That is the Question

 It's Fluffy!  It's Green!

I came back after a summer's absence to find that the lawn had not missed my care.  This is  what dethatching, fertilizing, and a few heavy rains can do for a lawn,  It was fluffy and green and dense.

Buffalo Grass, Sept 21, 2014,
Mowed 6+ Weeks Ago

Spreading Buffalo Grass

You can see from the first picture that the Buffalo grass runners tend to stay off sidewalks and patios.  If this were Bermuda, it would be dangling into the swimming pool.  I used kitchen shears to cut it back to the edge of the pool deck and to clear it from the flagstone path to the barbecue area. 

Buffalo  will spread quickly into moist dirt.  The yellow line is the approximate edge of the area covered by the sprinklers.  The runners spread a bit outside the deliberately watered area, that protects the soil moisture from evaporation ... they send down roots and spread a bit more. Then it rains hard and the whole area is really wet so they spread rapidly and protect even more area.

The runners are all above ground, so keeping the grass under control is not difficult. I'm just letting it spread. It looks like a bright green sheepskin rug.

Buffalo Grass Spreading Beyond the Watered Area

To Mow or Let Grow

It's personal choice. If you installed 6" or 8" sprinkler pop-ups, you can let it go fluffy.  Or you can mow it, but mow it much taller than you would Bermuda grass - if you want a putting green or golf course fairway style lawn, plant Bermuda grass.

We're selling the house, so  I decided to mow it to make a denser, more conventional turf for the showings.  And it's an opportunity show the world what mowed Buffalo grass looks like.

The grass was high and dense - hard to mow. I set the mower for maximum height, whatever that is, and mowed with the cuts overlapping about half a mower width.  It removed about half the height in many places.

Buffalo Grass, Half-Mowed
September 21, 2014
 Many, many bags of grass later.

Pics of the mowed lawn coming soon.

NOTE: Buffalo grass has finer, "drier" blades than other grasses I've mowed.  You can add it to your compost bins in thicker layers without it going all slimy-stinky. I've used it as mulch, spread straight from the mower bag, with good results.


Anthony Ball said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lazy Gardens said...

Anthony's post was removed because it was advertising, not helping.

The Military Gardener said...

How did the blue grama experiment work out? Did it grow with your buffalo grass?

Lazy Gardens said...

Military ...

I don't know. I have not seen any of the distinctive seed heads yet.

It may be lurking in there, but it's hard to tell them apart.

The Military Gardener said...

Yeah I posted my comment before I saw your replies to me in previous posts. Sorry about that.

Great experiment,and I'm looking forward to the same this year.

My buffalo grass is starting to wake up from the winter. My fescue/bluegrass mix is hating life since I have irrigation on a two week cycle. Going to start ripping it out and hand watering the bare spots to allow the buffalo to grow in.