Archive for the ‘Save Water’ Category


I hate the cold, so I’ve been enjoying the warm sunny days, which are a bit unusual for this time of year here in Fresno. Unfortunately, these 70 degree days are doing nothing to help with California’s drought situation. Governor Brown has even declared the state in a drought emergency asking all its citizens to cut back “at least 20% of their water use…We ought to be ready for a long, continued, persistent effort to restrain our water use”.

Read more from the LA Times here.

Learn more about California Buffalograss, a drought tolerant lawn alternative.

(image source)

Read Full Post »

Featured property: 2010 Habitat For HumanityGreen Home Tour

Oooo our California Buffalograss makes an appearance in California Landscaping Magazine! A Santa Barbara company, Wilson Environmental Landscape Design, Inc. won an award for the best sustainable landscape installation and part of their install included our California Buffalograss purchased through our socal rep Florasource!

Daniel Wilson, president and founder says, “When we got there, there were about 30,000 square feet of sod.” They replaced about 25,000 square feet with buffalograss and converted about 5,000 square feet into a succulent garden. “I think we’ve cut the water use down on the lawn by 70 percent. It could be more.”

To read the full article click here! And to learn more about how you can save water or purchase California Buffalograss visit our website or contact us at 559-275-3844!

Buffalo grass & flagstone path

buffalo grass drought tolerant plants

Planting & Design

(images from Wilson Environmental Landscape Design, Inc.)

Read Full Post »

The Lawn Reform Coalition recommends California Buffalograss in a recent article stating, “The California Buffalograss variety was developed specifically for California and does very well there.” They also list other lawn options to help you conserve water. If you’re thinking about replacing your lawn go and check it out!

Un-mowed California Buffalograss lawn pictured below!

UC%20Verde%20meadow copy

Read Full Post »

UC Davis is committed to fostering sustainable places that…includes the outdoor campus landscape, gateways to the Davis community and a network of natural reserves elsewhere in California that UC Davis manages.

Discovering and demonstrating new ways to manage water efficiently not only saves campus oerating costs, but serves as a model for a water-strapped state.

California Buffalograss, developed by scientists at UC Davis and UC Riverside, is literally adding more green to campus in an efficient way.

California Buffalograss grass needs only about 25 percent the amount of water used for other turf grasses. The grass was included in the landscaping of the new Maurice J. Gallagher Hall, home to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, in part to meet the Gold-level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED).

In addition to being water-efficient, California Buffalograss is also extremely tough and dense with strong disease and insect resistance, which reduces the need for chemical applications, weeding or other maintenance. Because the grass variety grows very slowly in comparison to other varieties, it also needs to be mowed far less frequently.

Click here for the full article and click here to read more about their installation of California Buffalograss.

Read Full Post »

There seems to be some confusion that there is only one kind of Buffalograss or that all types are the same. Actually, this is not the case at all. There various varities of Buffalograss out there and each one is different from the next. Some are seeded some are not, their height varies, growing conditions differ. Here’s a little bit of information on the topic:

Types of Buffalograss

Buffalo grass is native North American turf grass. Originally a native grass on plains and prairies, buffalo grass is named after American bison that fed on its gray-green foliage. Long used for livestock forage and rural turf, buffalo grass is gaining popularity as low-water, low-maintenance lawnscaping. Buffalo grass needs minimal fertilization and is pest resistant. New lawn varieties offer dense, green grass and xeriscape qualities.

California Buffalograss

California Buffalograss, developed by the University of California at Davis and University of California at Riverside, is specifically bred for California landscaping. California Buffalograss is fine-bladed, has no seed heads and is medium green in color. This slow-growing variety matures at a height 4 to 6 inches. Recommended mow height is 2 to 3 inches. Like other new cultivars, California Buffalograss can be left unmowed for a short meadow grass look.


Legacy buffalo grass, developed by the University of Nebraska, is a dense-growing grass with a dark blue-green color. This grass is planted by sod or plugs. Legacy has no pollen or seed heads, making it a good choice for people and pets with pollen allergies. Legacy tolerates shade better than most buffalo grasses, though it will not grow as rapidly in shade as in sun. Maturing at a height of 3 to 5 inches, this variety is unmowed for a soft landscape appearance or is mowed every two to three weeks in growing season.


Prairie buffalo grass, developed at Texas A&M University, is a medium density grass with an apple green color. Planted by sod or plugs, this fine-bladed grass has no pollen or seed heads. This cultivar is grown in full sun with little watering and fertilizing. Prairie performs well in clay soils and matures at a height 4 to 6 inches. Remove no more than a third of the height when mowing to maintain root activity.


Stampede is a semi-dwarf and dense buffalo grass with a kelly green color. This buffalo grass has a finer, shorter leaf blade than most buffalo grasses. Maturing at a height of 4 inches, Stampede spreads quickly and requires minimal mowing. Drought-tolerant and disease-resistant, the buffalo grass is green in summer and golden in winter.

Other Buffalo Grasses

Depending on the cultivar, buffalo grass is planted with traditional seeds, sod and grass plugs. Some cultivars such as Bison, Cody and Texoka grow from seed burs while others like Legacy, Prairie and Stampede grow by vegetative stems called stolens. Seeded varieties are often taller and produce seed heads. Vegetative varieties are preferred for fast growth and allergy sufferers. Check with regional cooperative extensions on specific buffalo grass cultivars suited to the local climate.

We carry California Buffalograss and find it to be a good fit for the west coast!

(Types of Buffalograss from Gardenguides.com)

Read Full Post »

A new report for the National Resources Defense Council claims one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will face higher risks of water shortages due to global warming.
The report finds that 14 states face an extreme or high risk to water sustainability, or are likely to see limitations on water availability as demand exceeds supply by 2050. But in some arid regions (such as Texas, the Southwest and California) and agricultural areas, water withdrawal is greater than 100% of the available precipitation so that water is already used in quantities that exceed supply. 
Read the full article here.

Read Full Post »

“…officials are drafting new laws that prohibit homeowners from installing a vast blanket of verdant grass…Existing grass is safe, but the new rules to conserve water would restrict lawn size for new homes and new lawn-and-garden projects to as little as one-quarter of a home’s overall landscaping. More turf is allowed only if homeowners do the math to prove they are conserving in other areas. For a 2,000-square-foot yard, that’s 500 square feet of grass — about the size of a two-car garage…”

For the full article click here: http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_14202658?nclick_check=1&forced=true

Read Full Post »

MP Rotator sprinkler heads are the newest innovation in sprinkler head design. They combine the best in water conservation, low cost and ease of installation of all sprinkler heads on the market today. MP Rotators have been proven in years of agricultural use and have an excellent history of reliability and durability. Visit them on their website to learn more at http://www.hunterindustries.com/products/mprotator/

We use them in our backyard!

Read Full Post »

Beginning next year in 2010, the City of Fresno will install approximately 25,000 meters on a yearly basis, until 2013 when the entire project is complete.

All costs for the water meter program are built into the current residential water rates; there will be no special assessment or charge associated with the cost of meter purchase or installation.

In 2010, as water meters are installed, the City will begin reading meters and billing a metered rate for those customers with meters. This means customers will be paying for actual water used – even WASTED water!

Read Full Post »

From the boss man, Danny Takao:


With the current drought conditions we face here in California and other parts of the country, the new California garden will need to change to accommodate our growing population.  With the increasing population here in California the pressure on our water resources will continue regardless if we get rain next year. One of the greatest user of water in our landscape is our cool season fescue type grasses. The inputs of fertilizers, chemical sprays and water doesn’t make much sense anymore. We need to change the way we think about our gardens and the way we live. And we need to do it now….


UC Verde Buffalo Grass


When I first learned of UC Verde Buffalo Grass it was from a catalog from High Country Gardens in New Mexico. David Salman is a leader in regards to low water landscape in New Mexico. After reading about the Buffalo Grass I put it in the back of my mind to follow up again when I had more time. I knew this grass was interesting but at the time 5 years ago water was not an issue.


A couple of years ago  I had to go a Green Roof Conference in Minneapolis to see about becoming a grower of  green roof modules.  By chance Wayne Thorsen from Todd Valley Sod Farm had his booth next to the Live Roof booth. (Todd Valley Farms owns the rights to UC Verde , Prestige and Legacy developed by UC Davis and UC Riverside and the University of Nebraska. )  I couldn’t believe this because I had forgotten all about the buffalo grass. Anyways Wayne and I got to talking about UC Verde and a month later Wayne callled to say we could be a plug producer in California.  Later on Wayne called Tom Hawkins from Florasource ( Our marketing and sales partner) to go see the trials at UC Riverside. UC Riverside and UC Davis are the breeders of UC Verde. What I saw at the trials really made me a believer in UC Verde. What UC Riverside did was establish plots of different drought tolerant turfs and then turn off the water. The only green blocks in the trials were UC Verde.  The Zoysia and Bermuda grasses were completely dead. It was really a amazing sight.


Since that trial we have started our own trial plots here at the nursery and have become a firm believer even more. UC Verde creates a really deep root system and the ability to transpire very slowly in hot weather. Making this grass ideal for our central valley heat. The only negative about UC Verde is the dormancy period from late November to early March. But the straw color of the grass during dormancy can be painted with turf paint or left natural. It’s quite strking with the dormant colors.


As our world gets closer to the tipping point there is something we can do to help and use less water in the process. UC Verde Buffalo grass is that solution. I’m glad to be a part of this and I hope California can see we need to use less water but still have our green gardens.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »