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Archive for the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

comparison.bottles
Every now and then we get questions about organic ways of getting rid of your weeds. We told you about ways to remove your existing lawn without using chemicals with sheet composting and soil solarization, and now we can share our mini trial with some organic weed killers!

In our comparison we trialed a couple organic herbicides, Biosafe Weed Control and Avenger Weed Killer, both were purchased online at Amazon, but you can also try your local garden center.

Both had a citrus-y sort of smell which wasn’t too bad at all! We sprayed 5 pumps of each onto UC Verde Buffalograss, and two types of weeds. Here are the results:

comparison.day1.4hours
After just 4 hours Biosafe was already showing signs of browning on the grass and it had totally killed the weeds. At the same time, Avenger did not show any effect on UC Verde, but it did have a good effect on the weeds, although they still had a bit of green in them compared to Biosafe.

comparison.day1.4hours.weeds
After several days ( with no additional applications), the results were even more obvious. Below is the effect on UC Verde Buffalograss from the initial spray 4 days prior.

comparison.day4

After 4 days, both sprays yielded similar results from the initial application:

comparison.day4.weed
Biosafe sprayed on with a “soapy” sort of liquid that seemed to stay on the foliage longer, while Avenger had more of a milky liquid appearance.

biosafeavenger
We found both Biosafe and Avenger to be effective as an organic weed killer on all sorts of weed types, unfortunately it will also effect your UC Verde Buffalograss. But it does offer you an organic way to spot treat your weeds!

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hardpan

Are you looking at hardpan in your garden?

UC Verde Buffalograss is known for breaking up hard soil so water can penetrate and with more yards there is a decent chance it will do it with this. But if you’ve got really tough stuff, don’t worry! You can still go with UC Verde Buffalograss, it will just require a little extra watering since it won’t be able to go as deep as it usually does!

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ucverde_homeshow

Well we’re back from the Fresno Home & Garden Show and UC Verde Buffalograss drew lots of interest! Here are some of the most common questions we were asked:

  • Can you mow it? Of course! Mow it every 3 weeks to maintain a manicured look or you can leave it unmowed for a natural meadow look since its maximum height is just 6″!
  • Is it safe for kids and pets? It’s perfectly safe for dogs to nibble on and it was developed for regular foot traffic, so you’re A-Okay! And it is highly resistant to pests and diseases, so even better!
  • Will it fill in or will it look clumpy? It should fill in within 3-4 months and look just like a regular lawn. No clumpiness!
  • Is it like Bermuda? Sorta…it’s like Bermuda in that it spreads by sending out runners – but UC Verde’s runners stay above groundit is not invasive and does not send runners underground like Bermuda. It also goes dormant in the winter, from around November to February, but come spring it will green up again! Also, during dormancy you can get away with watering it just a few times in the winter or not at all!
  • Can I get it in seed or sod form? Nope sorry, UC Verde produces hardly any seedheads – so no seeds to speak of (which also makes it great for those with allergies though) and because it has such a deep root system reaching down 6-8 feet, it is also not available in sod form.
  • How often will I have to water it? Initially, you’ll water it every day to encourage it to spread, slowly reducing watering after approximately 4 weeks. And once it is fully established in 3-4 months, you should be down to once a week watering to keep it green!
  • Is it good for shade? Unfortunately, UC Verde has very delayed to little growth in very shaded areas. We only recommend it for full sun locations. It needs 6-8 hours of sunlight daily to grow well.
  • Where did this grass come from?  UC Verde Buffalograss was bred by UC researchers from Davis and Riverside specifically for the hot, dry climates of California and Arizona.
  • If this is bred by UC Davis, do I have to buy it from UC Davis? We are one of the very few licensed propagators of UC Verde and you can purchase it from us on our website at www.ucverdebuffalograss.com or call us a 559-275-3844! We are located in Fresno.
  • Are you from UC Davis? No, Fresno State is my alma mater! Go Dogs! 🙂

For more info visit us at www.ucverdebuffalograss.com and don’t forget to like us!

facebook_ucverde_like

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We told you about using sheet composting to remove your old lawn without using chemicals…but, there’s yet another way – soil solarization! Basically, you’re going to use the sun and plastic to cook the crap out of your lawn until it’s no longer living!!

There is an excellent how-to on it here by Nan Sterman!

“After six weeks or so, your lawn will be gone with a minimum investment of time, energy, money, and, best of all – no herbicides!”

Now how awesome is that!?!

(Read about using Sheet Composting to Remove Your Lawn without Using Chemicals here)

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Winter watering

watercan

During the winter months you can drastically reduce the watering of your UC Verde Buffalograss lawn, and for most people you can cut watering out altogether! But it never hurts to give your lawn a little drink here and there during the winter months. Especially this year when winter seems to have never quite arrived! It’s been unseasonably warm this winter for us here in Fresno which I know isn’t good for our drought situation, but I have to admit that I am totally loving it! It’s almost like I live in southern California!…almost 🙂

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sheet-mulch
Before you install your new drought tolerant UC Verde Buffalograss lawn, you’ll have to remove your existing lawn first!

We usually suggest a method involving multiple applications of an herbicide, but some people prefer a method that is more Earth/pet/people-friendly and we can certainly understand that!

Native Again Landscape LLC tells you how to remove your lawn without using chemicals by sheet composting your space. “Sheet composting smothers the grass and kills it by depriving it of oxygen and sunlight. The dead grass can then be composted…In as little as 6 months your soil will be nutrient-rich and teaming with earthworms and other healthy organisms.”

Unfortunately, sheet composting isn’t the right option for everyone. If you’re in an area that is too hot and dry or too cold or too wet, or you have Bermuda grass, this might not be the right option for you.

Read more on how to remove your lawn without using chemicals here!

(Read about using Soil Solarization to Remove Your Lawn without Using Chemicals here)

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Well what do you know, UC Verde is both water-wise and fire-wise!

Dave Egbert, a firefighter and nurseryman suggests using UC Verde Buffalograss near your home to help protect it from being engulfed in flames.

“…a low-care lawn of UC Verde® buffalograss…can help snuff out firebrands that land near the home”, he says in his article on fire safe landscaping.

To read more about Dave’s article for a fire safe garden read his article here!

 
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