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About Buffalo Grass Plugs: Summer Is The Time To Establish Native Grass Lawns

Growing Zones Map For Buffalo Grass Lawns in the US and Canada


By David Salman, Chief Horticulturist

We Americans love our lawns. A nice green lawn can beautify our landscapes, provide a lush place to walk and play, and help to cool down the air in our surroundings. But one major aspect of conventional turf grass lawns that is not sustainable, especially in times of drought, is reducing the water needed to irrigate our lawns. Fortunately, we offer plenty of waterwise lawn options!

Low Water Native Grass: An Alternative To Water-Thirsty Lawns

One excellent alternative to having a water thirsty lawn is to convert your conventional turf to low water native turf grass, or start with a native grass lawn when a new property needs a new lawn.

One of the best all around native grasses for lawn use would be Legacy Buffalo Grass. Buchloe dactyloides (pronounced "Boo-CLO-ee" "dac-tee-Lloyd-ees") is a rugged native grass widespread over the drier sections of the Great Plains. Until recently, Buffalo Grass had only been available as pasture grass varieties grown from seed, notoriously difficult to germinate evenly when sown for a new lawn. The old seed grown pasture varieties, which grow to 8 inches in height and contain both female plants and male plants, which have hard, tough-on-the-feet flower heads. However, grass breeders at the University of Nebraska developed a dwarf, tight growing selection of Buffalo grass named Legacy. Legacy Buffalo Grass lawns are a quantum leap in quality when compared to seed-grown Buffalo grass.

Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides) is another University of Nebraska variety plug grown variety was breed for areas of the US with higher rainfall and humidity, including the Southeast.

UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in the lower elevation of the desert Southwest and California (the green section of the map above)

See the map above to find which grass variety is best for your region.

Buffalo Grass Lawn
Pictured here is a beautiful ‘Legacy’ lawn in Boise, ID.

The Benefits of Planting Buffalo Grass Plugs

  • An all female clone that is planted from plugs, solving the problem of patchy, rough Buffalo grass lawns grown from seed.
  • All female plants also means no pollen!
  • Bred to mature to an unmowed height of only 4 inches tall, this low-maintenance lawn can be mowed as little as once a month to keep it tidy. This saves time and money.
  • This very waterwise grass needs only 2 to 3 inches of inches of water per month to keep it green and lush, saving homeowners between 40-75% of the water required for thirsty Kentucky Bluegrass! (Depending on your soil type and average daytime temperatures)
  • ‘Legacy’ will grow in any soil type, but it is most water wise when grown in clay or clay-loam soils. It does best in regions that get 30 inches of precipitation of less. 


Summer Is The Time To Establish Native Grass Lawns

Summer is the ideal time for planting ‘Legacy’ and ‘Prestige’ because Buffalo grass grows fastest in the heat of summer. It spreads rapidly to form a thick, deeply rooted green carpet of lawn.

Grown as plugs planted on 12 inch by 12 inch centers, Buffalo Grass will fill in completely in the warm months of summer, in about 3 months!

Plant a sustainable Buffalo Grass lawn this summer! Create a beautiful landscape that helps you time and money by conserving water and reducing mowing and maintenance chores.

See our helpful guide for planting grass plugs: Lawn Replacement Instructions


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