Archive for the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

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 California Buffalograss, and two types of weeds. Here are the results:

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 California Buffalograss, but it did have a good effect on the weeds, although they still had a bit of green in them compared to Biosafe.

After several days ( with no additional applications), the results were even more obvious. Below is the effect on California Buffalograss from the initial spray 4 days prior.


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

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.

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 California Buffalograss. But it does offer you an organic way to spot treat your weeds!

Read Full Post »


Are you looking at hardpan in your garden?

California 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 California Buffalograss, it will just require a little extra watering since it won’t be able to go as deep as it usually does!

(image source)

Read Full Post »


Well we’re back from the Fresno Home & Garden Show and California 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 California Buffalograss’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, California Buffalograss 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, California Buffalograss 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?  California Buffalograss was bred by UC researchers from Davis and Riverside specifically for the hot, dry climates of California and Arizona.
  • Are you from UC Davis? No, Fresno State is my alma mater! Go Dogs! 🙂

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

Read Full Post »

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)

Read Full Post »

Winter watering


During the winter months you can drastically reduce the watering of your California Buffalograss 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 🙂

(image source)

Read Full Post »

Before you install your new drought tolerant California 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)

Read Full Post »

Well what do you know, California Buffalograss is both water-wise and fire-wise!

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

“…a low-care lawn of California 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!

(image source)

Read Full Post »

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 California 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 California Buffalograss 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 California Buffalograss 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!

Read Full Post »

Seeing Brown?

Georgia was seeing brown in her established California 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 California Buffalograss 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! California Buffalograss is a drought tolerant lawn, but it’s not a miracle grass 😉

Read Full Post »

Eek! Gophers!

Recently, Kristy from Santa Cruz contacted us wondering if gopher wire would work with a California 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 California Buffalograss is mature and growing they won’t be able to do too much damage!

(image source)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »