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

Growing Zones Map For Buffalo Grass Lawns in the US and CanadaGrowing 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 conservings water and reducing mowing and maintenance chores.

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

 

Shop Buffalo Grass Plugs

  1. Prestige Grass Plugs after 3 months

    Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United ...

    Learn More
    Prestige Buffalo Grass Plugs Prestige Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Prestige
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United States. Prestige Buffalo Grass has fine soft blades with a stunning green color. Prestige Buffalo Grass is considered drought tolerant, has extremely deep roots, and requires very little supplemental water once established. It grows to a height of 4-6 inches, so mowing is optional, and dependent on the look desired. It has exceptional disease and insect resistance and a very low pollen rating.

    Learn More
  2. Buchloe dactyloides UC Verde

    UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) produces a dense turf of soft, bright-green, very fine leaf blades. It is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in th...

    Learn More
    UC Verde Buffalo Grass Plugs UC Verde Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides UC Verde
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) produces a dense turf of soft, bright-green, very fine leaf blades. It is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in the lower elevation of the desert Southwest and California. UC Verde Buffalograss It is drought resistant (xeric), requiring only 1/4 inch of water per week, and has a very low pollen rating. Growing 4-8 inches, it requires mowing only once per year.

    Learn More
  3. Buchloe dactyloides Legacy Grass Plugs, Buchloe dactyloides Legacy, Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf gra...

    Learn More
    Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Legacy
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf grass with the lush look of traditional bluegrass or fescue lawns.

    Learn More
  4. Plug Auger

    18" Soil Auger. Use this auger to easily and quickly drill holes for grass plugs. It drills holes 1-1/4" diameter and fits any 1/4" drill or larger....

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    Plug Auger Plug Auger
    $19.95
    Per Plug Auger
    18" Soil Auger. Use this auger to easily and quickly drill holes for grass plugs. It drills holes 1-1/4" diameter and fits any 1/4" drill or larger.
    Learn More

by David Salman

Legacy Buffalo Grass on front lawn
A 'Legacy' buffalo grass lawn thriving in arid Boise, Idaho.

We Americans love our lawns. And a nice green lawn can beautify our landscapes and help to cool down the air in our surroundings. But there are aspects to lawns that need changing. And one big thing, especially in times of drought, is reducing the water needed to irrigate our lawns.

Alternatives to Water-Thirsty Lawns

One excellent alternative to having a water thirsty lawn is to convert your turf to a 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 Buffalo Grass Buchloe dactyloides (pronounced >Boo CLO ee< > dac tee Lloyd ees<). This rugged native grass is widespread over much of the drier sections of the Great Plains and has been bred by agronomists in the past as a pasture grass. Until recently, Buffalo grass had only been available as pasture grass varieties which are grown from seed. And Buffalo grass seed is notoriously difficult to germinate evenly when sown for a new lawn.

But grass breeders at the University of Nebraska developed a dwarf, tight growing selection of Buffalo grass named of ‘Legacy’. ‘Legacy’ lawns are a quantum leap in quality when compared to the old seed grown varieties that grow to 8 inches in height un-mowed, and contain both male and female plants. (The male plants have hard, tough-on-the-feet flower heads.)

As compared to seed grown pasture type Buffalo grass, ‘Legacy’ is:

  • An all female clone that is planted from plugs (rooted grass sprigs) solving the problem of patchy Buffalo grass lawns grown from seed.
  • Grown as plugs planted on 12 inch by 12 inch centers. And it will fill in completely (in the warm months of summer) in about 3 months.
  • Pollen-free (no male plants) and has been bred to mature to an unmowed height of only 4 inches and can be mowed as little as once a month to keep it tidy. This saves time and money.
  • Very water wise needing only 2 to 3 inches of inches of water per month to keep it green and lush saving homeowners between 40 and 75% of the water required for thirsty Kentucky Bluegrass depending on your soil type and average daytime temperatures.
Buffalo Grass Lawn
Pictured here is a beautiful ‘Legacy’ lawn that I spied on a recent trip to Boise, ID.

‘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. ‘Prestige’,another University of Nebraska variety plug grown variety was breed for higher rainfall, more humid areas of the US including the Southeast.

Growing Zones for Buffalo Grass Lawns
Growing Zones ofr Buffalo Grass Lawns

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

  1. Cynodon hybrida Dog Tuff Grass Plugs

    Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards with dogs a...

    Learn More
    Dog Tuff Grass Plugs Dog Tuff Grass Plugs Cynodon hybrida Dog Tuff
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards with dogs and is resistant to yellowing from dog urine. Once established, this warm-season grass is highly weed resistant, deep-rooted and provides a soft, cushioned feel for bare feet. It only grows 2 ½-4 inches high, so you need not mow it unless you prefer a manicured look. 2015 Green Thumb Award Winner. Questions? Download our Dog Tuff ™ Grass Planting Guide.

    Learn More
  2. Buchloe dactyloides Legacy Grass Plugs, Buchloe dactyloides Legacy, Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf gra...

    Learn More
    Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Legacy
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf grass with the lush look of traditional bluegrass or fescue lawns.

    Learn More
  3. Prestige Grass Plugs after 3 months

    Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United ...

    Learn More
    Prestige Buffalo Grass Plugs Prestige Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Prestige
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United States. Prestige Buffalo Grass has fine soft blades with a stunning green color. Prestige Buffalo Grass is considered drought tolerant, has extremely deep roots, and requires very little supplemental water once established. It grows to a height of 4-6 inches, so mowing is optional, and dependent on the look desired. It has exceptional disease and insect resistance and a very low pollen rating.

    Learn More
  4. Buchloe dactyloides UC Verde

    UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) produces a dense turf of soft, bright-green, very fine leaf blades. It is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in th...

    Learn More
    UC Verde Buffalo Grass Plugs UC Verde Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides UC Verde
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) produces a dense turf of soft, bright-green, very fine leaf blades. It is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in the lower elevation of the desert Southwest and California. UC Verde Buffalograss It is drought resistant (xeric), requiring only 1/4 inch of water per week, and has a very low pollen rating. Growing 4-8 inches, it requires mowing only once per year.

    Learn More
  5. Blue Grass Bella

    Bella™ Bluegrass Grass Plugs for shade and semi-shade are a truly revolutionary new dwarf turf bluegrass that requires 10-20% less water than traditional bluegrass. Bella Blueg...

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    Bella™ Bluegrass Grass Plugs Bella™ Bluegrass Plugs
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Bella™ Bluegrass Grass Plugs for shade and semi-shade are a truly revolutionary new dwarf turf bluegrass that requires 10-20% less water than traditional bluegrass. Bella Bluegrass has excellent shade tolerance (up to 80%) and doesn't require mowing as the grass blades only to grow to a height of 2 to 3 inches.

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  6. Bouteloua gracilis Hachita Grass Plugs, Bouteloua gracilis Hachita, Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs

    Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs (Bouteloua gracilis) is the most vigorous selection of this beautiful native grass from the western Great Plains. Beloved for its "eyelash" seed heads,...

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    Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs Bouteloua gracilis Hachita
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs (Bouteloua gracilis) is the most vigorous selection of this beautiful native grass from the western Great Plains. Beloved for its "eyelash" seed heads, it can also be mowed once a month to create a soft, inviting lawn. Quite xeric, 'Hachita' Blue Grama thrives in both sandy soils and clay! You can also interplant plugs with wildflowers to grow a colorful, low-care short grass prairie. For a turf type lawn, plant plugs 6" apart. 4" tall (15" with seed heads).

    Learn More
  7. Low Work and Water Dwarf Fescue Grass Seed close up

    Our 'Low Work and Water' Dwarf Fescue Lawn Seed Mix will create the ideal low water, low maintenance, low-growing turf grass for yards and play areas. Enjoy the beauty and benefits o...

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    Low Work and Water Dwarf Fescue Grass Seed Low Work and Water Dwarf Fescue Grass Seed
    As low as $34.95 Sale $31.45
    Per 5 Pounds
    Our 'Low Work and Water' Dwarf Fescue Lawn Seed Mix will create the ideal low water, low maintenance, low-growing turf grass for yards and play areas. Enjoy the beauty and benefits of a turf grass lawn without all the work and water.
    Learn More
  8. No Mow Lawn Grass Seed

    Go 'green' with the 'No Mow Lawn Grass Seed mix. This ecologically sensible lawn will save you time, water, fuel and money while enjoying a deep green, thick carpet of low growing, f...

    Learn More
    No Mow Lawn Grass Seed No Mow Lawn Grass Seed
    As low as $49.95 Sale $44.95
    Per 5 Pounds
    Go 'green' with the 'No Mow Lawn Grass Seed mix. This ecologically sensible lawn will save you time, water, fuel and money while enjoying a deep green, thick carpet of low growing, fine textured turf. This specially blended mix of six different dwarf Fine Fescue grass varieties has been formulated to provide a very deep-rooted, dense turf that needs little additional irrigation (except during dry spells without summer rains). Left unmowed, the grass blades create a wonderfully soft, swirling pattern. For a more manicured look, it can be cut once every four to six weeks to a height of 3" to 4".
    Learn More

Text and Photos by Founder and Chief Horticulturist David Salman.

© All articles are copyrighted by High Country Gardens. Republishing an entire High Country Gardens blog post or article is prohibited without written permission. Please feel free to share a short excerpt with a link back to the article on social media websites, such as Facebook and Pinterest.

  1. Cynodon hybrida Dog Tuff Grass Plugs

    Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards with dogs a...

    Learn More
    Dog Tuff Grass Plugs Dog Tuff Grass Plugs Cynodon hybrida Dog Tuff
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards with dogs and is resistant to yellowing from dog urine. Once established, this warm-season grass is highly weed resistant, deep-rooted and provides a soft, cushioned feel for bare feet. It only grows 2 ½-4 inches high, so you need not mow it unless you prefer a manicured look. 2015 Green Thumb Award Winner. Questions? Download our Dog Tuff ™ Grass Planting Guide.

    Learn More
  2. Buchloe dactyloides Legacy Grass Plugs, Buchloe dactyloides Legacy, Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf gra...

    Learn More
    Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Legacy
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf grass with the lush look of traditional bluegrass or fescue lawns.

    Learn More
  3. Prestige Grass Plugs after 3 months

    Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United ...

    Learn More
    Prestige Buffalo Grass Plugs Prestige Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Prestige
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United States. Prestige Buffalo Grass has fine soft blades with a stunning green color. Prestige Buffalo Grass is considered drought tolerant, has extremely deep roots, and requires very little supplemental water once established. It grows to a height of 4-6 inches, so mowing is optional, and dependent on the look desired. It has exceptional disease and insect resistance and a very low pollen rating.

    Learn More
  4. Buchloe dactyloides UC Verde

    UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) produces a dense turf of soft, bright-green, very fine leaf blades. It is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in th...

    Learn More
    UC Verde Buffalo Grass Plugs UC Verde Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides UC Verde
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $59.95 Sale $56.95
    Per Tray of 70 Plugs

    UC Verde Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) produces a dense turf of soft, bright-green, very fine leaf blades. It is recommended for planting in the high heat conditions found in the lower elevation of the desert Southwest and California. UC Verde Buffalograss It is drought resistant (xeric), requiring only 1/4 inch of water per week, and has a very low pollen rating. Growing 4-8 inches, it requires mowing only once per year.

    Learn More