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North America's Only True Native Lawn Grass

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

There is only one type of lawn grass that isn't an import and that's buffalo grass. All other grass types, from bluegrass to Zoysia, were brought to North America from Europe or Asia.

According to fossil records, buffalo grass existed seven million years ago. Buffalo grass is found throughout the Great Plains from Mexico to Montana. In Texas, buffalo grass is commonly found from the south central region westward to El Paso and north to the High Plains and Rolling Plains. It favors the heavy clay soils in moderate to low rainfall areas.
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Buffalo Grass has Wilderness Look

Buffalo grass is a great grass for anyone who likes a "natural" look. In low irrigation, dry areas (like the Great Plains) buffalo grass does quite well with little maintenance. It does extremely well compared to other lawn grasses against extreme summer conditions when water is scarce.

Buffalo grass is low growing, usually reaching only 8 to 10 inches high. Buffalo grass forms a fine textured, relatively thin turf, with a soft blue-green color. In the fall, when night temperatures go below freezing, the grass turns a light shade of brown until the spring. Buffalo grass requires little mowing.

Weaker Than Most Other Grasses

Though buffalo grass withstands heat better than any other lawn grass, it is destroyed quite readily by cultivation. Other grass types and garden plants take it over easily. For this reason, buffalo grass is often used as a quick landscaper for building sites as it can easily be replaced by other plants and grasses.

Buffalo Grass Seed

Buffalo grass lawns usually are started from seed. There are cultivars on the market, such as "Cody", which have been selected for good green color and thick turf.

The best time to seed buffalo grass lawns is May and June. At that time of year, with good watering, buffalo grass seedlings begin to appear 6 - 10 days after planting.


About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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