Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Watching Grass Grow: The Return of the Buffalo

We had heat-tolerant buffalo grass in Phoenix and loved the low maintenance and toughness of it.  The landscape plan in New Mexico includes a xeriscape "meadow" of grasses and wildflowers.  Instead of the plugs, I'm using seeds of a buffalo grass variety better adapted for high desert, mixed with blue grama grass and a small number of other native grasses for accents.
Buffalo cow and calf enjoying a stroll in Yellowstone National Park

The front yard was mostly neglected bare dirt. After the visible weeds were killed off, the seeds were scattered over the bare dirt and covered with jute erosion control mesh as a mulch to keep the seed from blowing all the way to El Paso. When the weather warms up, I'll be watering every few days until the grass is established. I'll also be pulling weeds.

Seed Sources

Western Native Seed of Coaldale Colorado
Xeriscape Lawn Mix, 70% buffalo grass/30% blue grama grass
Because the grama grass seeds are smaller than the buffalo grass, it's probably equal quantities of each seed.
Xeriscape Wildflower Mix  A whole bunch of stuff in this.

Prairie Moon Nursery was the source for some of the accent grasses and wildflowers. I'll be writing about them later.  I put about half of the grasses from prairie Moon into the main lawn mix and the rest will be planted as drifts or specimens

Also, I had grass and flower seed collected from along the roads here that I blended into the grass or flower seeds before scattering them. It will be interesting to see what grows.


The Military Gardener said...

If you're in New Mexico now, I'd highly suggest calling Curtis & Curtis Seed Co. in Clovis, and ask them for the "Sundancer" breed of Buffalo grass seed. I know you're going for the prairie look, but I don't think you'll regret having this buffalograss in the lawn. I had nothing but good experiences with it (until I moved to Denver this year.)

Lazy Gardens said...

Thanks, but you are too late. It's already seeded with the mix from Western seed.

But, having a local distributor's name is good.

Curtis also didn't have the pricing or a way to order short of calling them, something which gets in the way of web-based business.

The Lawn Care Rocket Scientist said...

Yeah man, these guys are old school seed distributers. They function by way of phone and establishing relationships with their clients.