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Frequently Asked Questions    Click on any of the questions below to view the answers:

 

 

   How many plugs should I order?

 

    How do I prepare my yard for the plugs?

 

   How do I place the plugs into the ground?

 

   Should I fertilize the plugs after installation?

 

   How high of an elevation can I plant the turf -type buffalograss?

 

   Which buffalograss will do well in my part of the country?

 

 

What is the difference between turf-type buffalograss and other buffalograsses?

 

When Can I plant Todd Valley Farms' Buffalograss plugs or sod?

 

Do I have to plant the plugs the same day I get them?

 

How do I control the weeds while my buffalograss plugs establish?

 

What can I do to prevent erosion if I plant the plugs on a slope?

 

Troubleshooting Questions

 

While our turf-type buffalograss eliminates many problems associated with lawn care, it is not a miracle grass that never has problems.  This section will help you identify  trouble before it gets out of hand.

Why do I have brown spots in my Buffalograss lawn?

Why do I see an occasional pollen head in my Buffalograss?

Why did my newly installed buffalograss sod turn brown?

Why do the blades on my buffalograss have a purplish tinge to them?

If your question does not appear on this website page please call us at 800-869-8544 and we will be glad to answer your question.

 

 

How many plugs should I order?

Measure the area to be plugged. Refer to "Measuring for sod" if you need help calculating the square footage.  To calculate the number of plugs needed, use the following formula for the appropriate spacing. 

Spacing Desired

Number to multiply

your square footage by

18 inches on center multiply by .44
15 inches on center multiply by .64
12 inches on center multiply by 1.00
9 inches on center multiply by 1.78
6 inches on center multiply by 4.00

 Plugs placed 18 inches apart should cover in 2 to 4 growing months.  Reduced spacing should be used for areas subject to erosion, such as slopes, or when a quicker establishment is desired.

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Do I have to plant the plugs the same day that I get them?

You do not have to plant the plugs immediately, but the plugs are perishable.  They must be unpacked from the box used for shipping or removed from your vehicle if you hauled them home yourself.  Place the trays in a single layer in an area protected from the wind. Water the plugs immediately and keep them moist until you are ready to plant them.  Watering them once or twice a day should be sufficient.

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When can I plant Buffalograss?

Buffalograss is a warm season grass so it needs to be established during the warm summer months. Buffalograss from Todd Valley Farms can be installed from the last average frost date of the season in the spring until about 4 to 6 weeks before the first expected freeze in the fall.  If you are planting buffalograss plugs towards the end of the planting dates, a cover crop such as an annual rye should be seeded in the plugged area after the first hard freeze to protect the area from erosion.

Planting Dates and Shipping Information

Use the following chart to identify your estimated planting dates.  You will need to know which zone you are in.  If you don't know which zone you are in, you can go to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.  Just use the back button when you are done to return to this page.

Zones Estimated Planting Dates
Zone 11 February 15 through November 15
Zone 10 February 15 through November 1
Zone 9 March 10 through October 15
Zone 8 March 15 through October 15
Zone 7 April 1 through October 1
Zone 6 April 20 through September 15
Zone 5 May 1 through September 10
Zone 4 May 1 through September 1
Zone 3 May 10 through August 20
Zone 2 May 20 through August 1

When purchasing plugs in our "Store" you will need to choose the Monday of the week you wish to receive the plugs.  Please make sure it is within the planting dates for your zone.  Every attempt will be made to get the plugs to you the week that you pick.  Adjustments to shipping dates may be made due to weather conditions or availability of plugs.    We will confirm this date with you before shipping your plugs to you.

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How do I prepare my yard for...

PLUGS (scroll down for sod)

Preparation for Installing Buffalograss Plugs in a New Yard

Remove all construction debris, stones, vegetation, etc.  Start with a properly graded yard.  Do not expect the plugs to hide a rough grade.  Be sure all areas drain properly.  After final grade is complete, firm any loose soil by rolling or water slowly to avoid erosion and let soil settle. Then follow the "Spacing and Planting" directions for planting the plugs.

Preparation for Installing Buffalograss Plugs in an Existing Lawn

Herbicide Method - Following label directions, spray the entire planting area with a glyphosate non-selective herbicide such as Round Up®.  After a minimum of 24 hours your site is ready to plug.  Follow the "Spacing and Planting" directions for planting the plugs.

 

Chemical Free Method - If you prefer not to use chemicals in your renovation you need to use one of the following methods to prepare your yard.

 

Using a sod cutter (these are available at many rental stores) remove all of the existing grass.  Do not leave any strips of old grass.  After you have removed and disposed of the old sod, rototill the area to a depth of 2-3 inches.  Water the area to firm the planting bed and allow to dry.  Rake it smooth before following the  "Spacing and Planting"  directions for planting the plugs.

 

Roto-till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, tilling the existing vegetation under, mixing it with the soil.  Wait 5 days to allow the tilled vegetation to die.  Water the area, let it dry and roto-till it again.  Depending on the amount of vegetation, you may have to repeat the tilling several times.  Be sure to repeat enough times to give you a good soil bed, free of dirt clods and old vegetation.  Firm any loose soil by rolling or water slowly to avoid erosion and let soil settle. Rake smooth.  Follow the "Spacing and Planting" directions below for planting your plugs.

SOD

Preparation for Installing Buffalograss Sod in a New Yard

Remove all construction debris, stones, vegetation, etc.  Start with a properly graded yard.  Do not expect the sod to hide a rough grade.  Be sure all areas drain properly.

Preparation for Installing Buffalograss Sod in an Existing Lawn

Herbicide Method - Following label instructions, spray the area to be sodded with a glyphosate non-selective herbicide such as Round-Up.  After a minimum of 10 days, inspect your site to be sure all vegetation is dead.  Repeat the spraying if the vegetation is not all dead and wait an additional 10 days.  Prepare the soil by one of the following methods.

Using a sod cutter, (these are available at many rental stores) clean cut the existing sod and remove it from the site.  Be sure all vegetation is cut and you have a clean surface left.  Make sure all areas will drain properly.

Roto-till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, tilling the existing vegetation under, mixing it with the soil.  Water the area, let it dry and roto-till it again.  Depending on the amount of vegetation, you may have to repeat the tilling several times.  Be sure to repeat enough times to give you a good loose soil bed, free of dirt clods and old vegetation.  Water one last time to firm the soil.  Let it dry and rake it smooth.  Make sure all areas will drain properly.

Chemical Free Method  - If you prefer not to use chemicals in your renovation you need to use one of the following methods to prepare your yard. 

Using a sod cutter, (these are available at many rental companies) cut up the existing grass and remove it from the site.  Roto-till the area to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.  Be sure the soil is loose and fluffy and free of dirt clods.  Water the area to firm the soil.  Let the soil dry and then rake it smooth.  Make sure all areas will drain properly.

Roto-till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, tilling the existing vegetation under, mixing it with the soil.  Water the area, let it dry and roto-till the area again.  Depending on the amount of vegetation, you may have to repeat the tilling process several times.  Be sure to repeat enough times to give you a good loose soil bed, free of dirt clods and old vegetation.  Water one last time.  Let the soil dry and rake it smooth.  Make sure all areas will drain properly.

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How do I Place the Plugs into the ground?

Mark the area to be plugged with your desired spacing.  Stagger the rows as in figure 1.  At each plug location drill a hole about 1 1/4 inch deep.  If you are planting a small amount of plugs, a 1-1/4 inch drill bit can be purchased at a hardware store.  If you are planting a large number of plugs you might want to consider purchasing the 18 inch Soil Auger in our "Store".  It fits on any 1/4" or larger electric or cordless drill and can reduce the amount of strain on your back from bending down to the ground.   Place the plug into the hole being sure it is firmly against the bottom of the hole.  This is very important.  If the plug is not pressed in it will create an air pocket under the plug and could reduce the chance of survival.   Repeat for all plugs.  Water areas as they are completed.

Figure 1    x            x            x            x               x

x            x            x               x            x

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How often should I water my new plugs?

Water your new plugs immediately after planting, soaking the plugs thoroughly.  Keep the area saturated for the first two weeks, then slowly reduce watering, but keep the ground moist.  After the fourth week, soak the area once or twice per week until the plugs have completely covered the area.  This additional watering will keep the plugs actively growing and spreading as quickly as possible.  After this period, additional watering will depend on your natural rainfall and temperatures.  Water your buffalograss to prevent stress.  Buffalograss is under stress when the grass blades wilt or the tips turn a purplish, brown color.

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Should I fertilize my plugs after planting?

After installation is complete, saturate each plug with Miracle Gro general purpose fertilizer or fertilize the area with a sod/seed starter fertilizer.  Both are available at your local garden center.  Read and follow the directions on the label for proper rates and application methods.

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How do I control weeds while my Buffalograss plugs establish?

With Herbicides

It will take longer for the buffalograss to fill in, if it has to compete with weeds during establishment. Immediately after planting, you should apply a pre-emergent herbicide such as Pedimethalin or Surflan. Scotts makes Halts Crabgrass Preventer® or Turfbuilder with Halts® with these herbicides. Most garden centers will carry these products or similar herbicides. Follow label instructions. Broadleaf weeds like dandelions can be controlled after they emerge with products like Scotts Turfbuilder Plus2® with weed control. DO NOT apply products for broadleaf weed control when temperatures are above 85°.  If it is necessary to spray then, do not spray directly on the new plug as this may stunt its growth. If broadleaf weeds are a problem when temperatures are above 85º, a non-24-D herbicide like "Battleship" or "Confront" may be used. Consult a professional lawn care company for application.  

Grassy weeds should be physically removed or sprayed with RoundUp® after the buffalograss has gone completely dormant. Buffalograss is dormant when no green shows in the foliage ; a small amount of green at the base of the plant is O.K. Mowing can also be used to control weeds, but is not as effective as herbicides. New herbicides are being developed for buffalograss. Consult your extension agent or call us at 800-869-8544 for the latest material available.

Without Herbicides

If you wish to avoid the use of chemicals, hand eradication of weeds and mowing at 1 - 1 1/2 inches during establishment will benefit your new planting.  When using this method, your establishing buffalograss plugs will still benefit from fertilizer applications.

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What is the difference between Buffalograss from

Todd Valley Farms and other varieties of buffalograss?

Legacy®, UC Verde™ and Prestige™ are "second-generation" turf-type buffalograss.  These advanced varieties are very aggressive, allowing a lawn to be established from plugs in 2 to 4 months. Older vegetative varieties can take a year to establish and seeded varieties can take 24 to 36 months.  Legacy and Prestige have the tensile strength to harvest well as sod.  All three varieties create a denser turf than other buffalograsses, which means you will have less competition from weeds and other grasses.  This also means less chemicals need to be applied to create a lush green turf.  This is better for us, our children and our environment.  Unlike seeded buffalograss varieties, they are practically pollen free, making them the grass of choice for anyone with allergies or asthma.  You will also have less mowing, since our varieties do not produce the pollen heads that can get as tall as 10 to 15 inches tall.

*Buffalograss sod will turn mostly brown within a few days after installation.  This is normal and it will green back up within 3 to 5 weeks.  Poor watering of the sod could increase the time for green up.

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Which Buffalograss will do well in my part of the country?

It is unrealistic to think that any one grass is perfect for all locations.  That is why we offer several cultivars of buffalograss to fit your climate and region.

 

The following is a general geographic guideline for planting of each one of the three varieties. These are only guidelines. There are always exceptions.  You may want to use more than one variety in your landscape to create a contrast in looks.  These grasses are great for lawns, border plantings, street plantings or as a short ornamental garden.  Ask for these grasses at your local garden center or order online.  We are also contracting with sod farms throughout North America to better serve those who wish to sod instead of plugging. For more information on a distributor in your area go to the Buffalograss Grower and Distributor Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What can I do to prevent erosion if I plant the plugs on a slope?

After installation is complete, place a lightweight biodegradable erosion control mat or erosion straw mat on top of the plugs.  This will help control the erosion and help keep the area moist, but may slightly slow the growth of the plugs.  Cutting a hole in the fabric at each plug is beneficial and will help speed up establishment.

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 How high of an elevation can I plant Turf-type Buffalograss?

The temperature is more important than the elevation.  As long as your average daytime temperatures are in the 80’s during the summer and night time temperatures stay above the upper 40’s to lower 50’s Legacy should perform for you. If you are planting at an elevation above 5000 feet, Legacy is usually the best choice.

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Why do I have brown spots in my buffalograss lawn?

These most likely are due to lack of water in an extreme drought or chinch bugs.  Todd Valley Farms buffalograss varieties require about 1/4 the amount of water of normal turfgrass.   If your Buffalograss is under drought stress the grass blades will get a purplish color.  Watch for this.  Water deep to replenish the soil with moisture and the purple color will go away.  If you fail to see this sign of stress and your buffalograss goes brown, do not panic.  It has gone into dormancy and its color should quickly return with adequate watering.

If the color does not return you probably have an infestation of chinch bugs.  To test for chinch bugs, cut both ends out of a large can and twist it into the turf where the green meets the brown.  Fill the can with water and if you have a chinch bug infestation very small orange specks should float to the top.  To treat, apply an insecticide labeled for chinch bugs or have a Profession lawn service apply Talstar.  Lightly water.  Chinch bugs live on the surface so do not water too deep. Wait 48 hours and then fertilize and water to help the grass recover.

*Prestige and UC Verde have greater resistance to chinch bugs than Legacy.

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Why do I see an occasional pollen head in my Buffalograss?

Even all-female varieties of buffalograss will shoot an occasional pollen head.  These are part of the female plants and are sterile.  Certain cultural practices or weather conditions contribute to this.  They are:

  • Very wet weather or over-watering

  • Over-fertilizing. Do not fertilize an established Buffalograss lawn more than 3 times per year in Zones 5 or below; or 4 times per year in Zones 6 and above.

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Why did my newly installed Buffalograss sod turn brown?

This is normal and is a natural trait of buffalograss sod.  Newly installed Buffalograss sod usually goes about 80% brown.  Keep the area saturated until it roots firmly to the ground.  Buffalograss sod usually starts shooting roots within a few days after installation.   We have found that the sod will remain green if an ample amount of water is applied within a few minutes after installation.  The more you allow your new buffalograss sod to stress without water the longer it will take to green back up.

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Why do the blades on my buffalograss have a purplish tinge to them?

Purple leaves are a sign of drought stress.  Begin watering.

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