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Native Grass planting in AZ

Posted by thetaxidermist none (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 4, 14 at 19:27

Ok, Im located in Phoenix AZ. I have stripped my yard down Ill be doing some more prep as the month goes to make sure the soil is ready and no weeds are present. I also have a watering system in place for the yard.

Now, I'm looking at planting Native Grass, specifically Buffalograss. I'm attacked to the Legacy because its all female plants. I also like the allergy relief of this. And this may be adverse to that, but I also want to mix in Blue Grama for nice texture mixed throughout.

The Legacy comes in plugs, do I plant these and then also seed in Blue Grama? How would I work this?

Also another seed mix I see is Habiturf, anyone know much about this? whats the germination rate ect...

Im very new to this so any insight would be great.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

What is your objective? Why are you going with buffalo rather than hybrid bermuda or St Augustine?

Is the area full sun?

I hear about Habiturf. It seems to be a little dicey to get started, but once in, it performs as advertised. The seeded buffalo grass is not going to be all female. In fact it would probably be a little leggy with very tall male and female flower stems that make it look shaggy in a week after mowing.

I'm not sure blue grama will thrive in Phoenix. Have you asked around about that? If so, then you should be able to mix it like you are suggesting in with the Legacy buffalo.

Have you seen Tech Turf from the Turffalo company? It is a hybrid buffalo that has both male and female, but it is better behaved than most. By that I mean the seed stalks grow at about the same rate as the grass itself, so it never looks shaggy. But since the seed and flowers are brown, it has that brown cast to it. Also Tech Turf grows very dense. Most buffalo is a thin turf and prone to weeds. Tech Turf is not. It spreads much faster, too. Here are two pictures of Tech Turf from Lubbock, TX.

The first is mowed at 3/4-inch every week. The second is mowed to 2.5 inches, but as you can see, not very often. But that second pic gives you an idea of how dense it can get. Those runners are trying like mad to spread. The second one was probably 5 inches high and had not been mowed for 3 weeks. A normal buffalo grass would have had seed stalks standing up 10 inches or so in that time.

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

Great pics, great looking lawn too. In all honesty I want something longer, but can also be cut short if needed. I like the idea of long grass. I know Red Fescue is nice and long but its a high allergen.

I miss spoke in the above UC Verde is all female and allergy free. Blue Grama is a moderate, unlike high allergens such as Bermuda and other typical SW lawn types. So I was hoping to plant it along with the UC Verde. Seems to be what everyone does from as far as my searches bring me!

My yard gets sun all day everyday! the sun passes over my home sideways or east to west.

The info I could find on Habiturf seems to fall inline with what you said, must be patient ; ) sometimes very!

I've seeded Bermuda in the past it took very quickly and to some very barren parts of the lawn (when I moved in) But I've killed it and now I'm starting over. not sure Buffalo will do the same or not, or a native type mix.

So I guess I was tossing the idea around of getting Buffalo Plugs - UC Verde, and also planting in Blue Grama. But just don't know the best way to do it.

Thank you for the very informative reply btw!

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

I'd do both at the same time. The plugs will sit relatively dormant if they are not already green and growing. That will give the blue grama a chance to sprout between the plugs. Not sure how long it takes blue grama to sprout.

Spring is generally a poor time to seed simply because crabgrass seed sprouts under the same conditions as the grass seed. Having said that, I am fairly certain that blue grama is normally seeded in the spring. I would call Douglass King Seed and ask them when to plant blue grama in Phoenix. They sell world wide. They can help you adjust your expectations for success with blue grama. I'm thinking it is too hot, but call and ask.

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

Buffalo Grass: I've been there and done that already. grass

Legacy can't handle the heat as well as UC Verde (also seedless). Buy it from Civano Nursery in Tucson.

Blue grama might do OK in the mix - I'm trying that this spring.

However, you REALLY, REALLY need to make sure all the Bermuda is killed totally dead or it will come back.

READ THIS ... it's what I should have done but didn't do that bit me in the butt. Learn from my errors.

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

PS: You want "Hachita" variety of Blue Grama.

It's a lot shorter and more heat tolerant than most of the rest of them.

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

I've actually been reading up on your blog over the last few days ; ) It has been very helpful. And thank you dchall_san_antonio and lazygardens for the leads on where to get seed!

Right now, the state of my lawn is basically dirt. I do have weeds scattered about and some spots where the Bermuda is still sprouting but overall my lawn or what once was has been starved for a very long time.

Im looking at starting to kill off the weeds and left over grass, any recommendations?

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

Water it daily for a few minutes only to keep the surface moist. That will sprout all the weed and grass seeds you have. Then nuke it with RoundUp. Continue watering daily for another week to catch the later sprouting seeds and nuke them.

RE: Native Grass planting in AZ

I have a small UC Verde buffalograss + Hatchita blue grama lawn here in Tucson. Both were planted 2 years ago from plugs.

If I had to do it over again, I would NOT plant the blue grama from plugs - I'd go with seed. Blue grama is a lovely grass, but the plugs don't spread out like the buffalograss plugs do.

Instead, you get these clumps that are impossible to mow short, plus they're hard to walk on, it's like you're walking through BLM rangeland.

Plus, the grama greens up somewhat earlier than the buffalograss, so you see green spots in a sea of brown for about a month, which looks kinda weird.

If you haven't already planted your grass, go with the UC Verde buffalograss plugs (the only choice) and the Hatchita seed. In fact, I'm ordering some seed today for the thin/bare spots.

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