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Archive for the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

A nice heavy layer of wood chips is a great way to smother out weeds and retain moisture in your soil.

And with this being the case, one would think the “kill two birds with one stone approach” would work well for installing UC Verde Buffalograss…Lay down a thick pad of wood chips over some cardboard or newspaper to kill any existing greenery and then later after the paper has decomposed (but the wood chips remain) install your plugs and the wood will help the newly planted UC Verde to hang onto more H2O. It seems perfectly logical doesn’t it? But sigh, it in fact is not the case.

While the smother method could possibly assist you in the exterminating part of the process, the wood chips do not lend a helpful hand to getting your UC Verde plugs to grow. Actually, it sort of hinders it.

At first glance the lovely wood chips seem like they would be a great mulch, but in fact they tend to block UC Verde’s runners from getting to the ground to root!

If you are going to mulch make sure it’s something fine that the runners can penetrate to reach the soil!

(image s0urce)

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The Easter Bunny has come and gone and although he may be oh so cute, the last thing you probably want is for all his little furry relatives nibbling away at all your hard lawn work!

One of our UC Verde Facebook fans, Muhammad, has had such a dilemma in the past and he’s contacted us to try to prevent his new UC Verde plugs from being the Hare Family dinner again!

There are some options out there that will deter the adorable varmits, while still being safe for other wildlife, pets and kids. Here are some of our suggestions you may want to try:

  • Rabbit fencing
  • Deer and rabbit repellent pellets
  • Deer and rabbit repellent concentrate
  • Blood meal
  • Predator urine

The fencing will help you to block out the little buggers from getting to your lawn in the first place. The other methods help by keeping rabbits from wanting to go near your lawn. We’ve found for most people the fencing did the job!

If you have any questions regarding your UC Verde Buffalograss lawn or are thinking about installing one, feel free to contact us!

(image source)

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Foot Traffic

Unlike other forms of Buffalograss, UC Verde was specifically created for lawn use, which means it’s a-okay for regular foot traffic! Because if you’re like me – with a kid and dogs – that’s what a lawn’s all about, right?!

(image source)

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now_backyard
With March just around the corner I thought I’d share some tips about prepping your UC Verde lawn for a season of loveliness!

  •  In early spring, mow your buffalograss to a height of 1 inch. This will remove the old grass debris and allow the sun to warm the soil faster so your buffalograss will green up earlier.
  • Apply a pre-emergent or a fertilizer with crabgrass and/or annual grassy weed control at this time. Any product available at your garden center should be okay to use. Read and follow the label.
  • Repeat this application at a ½ rate in 6-8 weeks for season long control.

And if you’re looking to install UC Verde for the first time this spring I can’t stress enough to you how important it is to properly prep your space before you plant!

  • It is extremely important to treat your space prior to installation to make sure that an exisiting weeds, plants or lawns have been killed off so that they do not overtake your young plugs when they are establishing. Take extra time and extra care to make sure you’ve killed off everything before you install your plugs and save yourself some major stress!
  • Often, this is a 3-4 week process. After killing off your existing lawn or weeds with a product such as Round-Up, you will want to wait several days and then begin to regularly water your space to encourage existing weeds and grass to come up.
  • Apply another application of Round-Up to anything that pops up.
  • Repeat this process until everything is eradicated.

Taking the time to do this before installation will save you from the headache of having isolate the weeds or old grass from the establishing UC Verde plugs. Here is a list of helpful advice from the Lazy Gardens blog on what to do before your installation!

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The folks over at UC Davis documented their whole UC Verde experience from brand spanking new plugs to how to deal with winter dormancy. Check it out!

UC Verde plots, October 2010 (after the 1st weeding)
No water stress 8/16/11

Rye grass versus a turf colorant to keep UC Verde looking green through the winter:

Section of plot sprayed with turf colorant, Nov. 30, 2011.  Annual ryegrass is adjacent to (above/left) sprayed section.

 

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As promised our very first how-to video is here for you all to see!!! In it, I’ll show you how to apply a turf colorant to your dormant UC Verde Buffalograss lawn!

It’s a tad cheesy, but what can you do? – it’s hard to give a demonstration and not sound a bit cheesy! 🙂

So watch our little clip here or go over to our brand spanking new Youtube channel and check it out (and you can even subscribe if you want, wink wink)!

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Fall is Here!

Well fall is definitely here – we had a bit of a rain storm yesterday and it was actually a nice change of pace from the dry summer heat that’s swallowed us for the past several months. Now that the weather is cooling down and the length of daylight is shortening, your UC Verde Buffalograss will probably begin to go into dormancy towards the end of the month. And with UC Verde going into hibernation so will my blog posts – no grass news equals no blog news! I’ll check in here and there, and I’ll be back in full next spring when the grass is green again!

Be sure to get subscribed to us some how (blog, facebook, email – all accessible on the right hand column our blog or via our website) so that you can stay updated on the latest happenings! I’ll be creating a short demo video later in the winter to show you how to apply a colorant to your dormant lawn for a natural look that will last all winter long! Stay in touch to be notified 😉

An old pic I just found on my desktop of a UC Verde Buffalograss lawn that has never been mowed. I think I kinda prefer the look of it natural!

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End of the Season Tips

Here we are looking at fall now…towards the end of October many of you will see your green UC Verde lawns begin to transition to into their golden dormancy shades. Here are some seasonal tips to get you through until spring pops up again:

  • Fall maintenance should be minimal. Water if needed. The late fall is an excellent time to control any broadleaf weeds. During this cool weather any broadleaf weed control may be used, including 2-4D products.
  • In the late winter, you can repeat the fertilization process to encourage the grass to begin growing again or you can just sit back and relax until spring rolls around!

A couple of Saturdays ago we also hosted the Fresno Master Gardeners at our facility for a tour about the whole process of how plants get to market. There were 98 Master Gardeners and friends, that’s a whole lot of plant people!

 

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Pesky Bare Spots?

Are you almost there, but battling with some bare spots in your UC Verde lawn?

Here’s what worked for Mike:

“I ended up digging them out about 6″ deep and putting in topsoil from a bag, the wattered the heck out of it and mowed it about everyweek…that seems to be doing the trick…”

“…most of the spots are all but gone and the one remaining bad spot should be gone in a couple more weeks”

And here’s his lawn at 4 months:

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We’ve had some bewildered established UC Verde lawn owners contact us this season wondering what the heck is going on with their lawns! If your lawn too was once green and is now looking like it’s dying out, inadequate sprinkler coverage might be the culprit!

This Thousand Oaks, California resident sent us a picture of his lawn. It had been recently fertilized and he was watering it 3 times a week to try to get it to green up again. At first he thought it might have been burned by the fertilizer – but since half of the lanw appears to be green that didn’t appear to be the case. If it was a fertilizer burn the entire lawn would have been affected.

Immediately our thoughts were that the lawn was suffering from a lack of water, although the home-owner insisted that he was turning on his sprinklers 3 times a week. He further looked into his system and discovered that there was inadequate water pressure and some areas of the lawn were not get  reached.

Use a small hand shovel and check the ground to see if your problem areas are getting enough coverage. Your UC Verde lawn may not be getting any water at all in some spots due to low water pressure which can be caused from a broken sprinkler head or because the water is also being used in another area of the home or yard at the same time or due to blockage in the sprinkler heads from sand and minerals in the water supply, or your buffalograss or nearby plantings may also be getting too tall and might be partially or fully blocking the sprinklers.   

If you have questions about your UC Verde lawn – don’t hesistate to contact us! 🙂

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