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Archive for the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

UC Verde Buffalograss Grown by Takao Nursery, Home of Chris Wilson, El Cajon, Ca

Spring is just around the corner and I cannot wait for the warm weather to get here!!!

To get your UC Verde Buffalograss ready for the warm up, mow it back to a height of around one inch. This will remove all the old yellow grass and help the sun to reach the soil and new growth faster. Since you are helping the ground warm earlier than normal, you will need to 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!

Pictured above is a great UC Verde lawn shot from Chris Wilson of El Cajon, California! He says,

“In the lower left you can see where patch of competing bermuda is struggling with the summer heat. Not the buffalo! I’ve found that by mowing higher (2.5″ to 3″) in the summer, allows for much better moisture retention, and it really shows. In the spring I cut it to 3/4″ and it’s so tight and dense, it looks like a golfcourse fairway. Pretty cool grass!”

Pretty cool indeed Chris! And thanks so much for sharing your pic and tips with us! We’d love to hear what you think or see pics of your UC Verde in action too! Visit us on our Facebook page to share away 🙂

For more information or if you have any questions, you can also visit our website or contact us!

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Seeing Brown?

Georgia was seeing brown in her established UC Verde Buffalograss lawn and contacted us wondering what the heck was going on! For some reason this year she was having pesky brown spots appearing in her Fresno lawn although she hadn’t done anything differently since the previous two seasons.

Her message to us: “On the home front (my backyard), the UC Verde buffalo grass is not looking so good. This is the third summer, and the past two summers it did great. In June there were two small dying patches, surrounded by healthy, thriving grass. Now, in late July, more dying patches and it looks like we have a dying trend going on. Through June it was watered once a week, and it gets full coverage; in July with triple digit weather I increased the 10 min. watering to twice a week. Do you have any thoughts on why such a widespread die back?”

And our suggestions:

  • Use a shovel in the brown areas to see if the ground is hard and dry. This means that the water is not penetrating or adequately reaching this region.

Georgia used a shovel to go down several inches and verified the ground was hard and dry.

  • We recommended she increase water to the dry areas. Basically, the lawn in those parts were not receiving enough water and the dryness triggers the dormancy mechanism in the grass. Often times this is due to uneven sprinkler coverage, sometimes it’s due to a heat wave (and I can tell you right now in Fresno we are definitely having a heat wave with multiple weeks of triple digit weather, back to back to back…ugh!) It will take about a week or two of increased watering and you should see greening along the base of the grassn in those dry areas.

Georgia put a hose-end sprinkler on it the brown spots and moved it around to give them a good soaking. She’s also increased her irrigation to 10 minutes twice a week while the temps are over 100.

And now her lawn several weeks later is doing much better! UC Verde is a drought tolerant lawn, but it’s not a miracle grass 😉

 

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Eek! Gophers!

Recently, Kristy from Santa Cruz contacted us wondering if gopher wire would work with a UC Verde Buffalograss lawn, since the grass has such a deep root system. While the wire is a good defense for gophers coming from below ground, you’ll still have issues since they can travel above ground at night and start burrowing. Try to keep them at bay until the plugs have a chance to get established and once your UC Verde Buffalograss is mature and growing they won’t be able to do too much damage!

(image source)

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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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