View Full Version : buffalo grass

Dirt Boy
10-10-2012, 10:41 AM
What is the best way in dealing with buffalo grass?
Have a job where they want new grass (fescue) and it is now dormant buffalo. Can you spray roundup on dormant grass and get any kind of kill? If you use a sod cutter and take it up, and replace with a fescue sod, will the buffalo come back through next year?

Thanks guys

Dave Stuart
10-10-2012, 02:38 PM
Buffalo grass - the only real native turfgrass to North America and one that has a stoloniferous warm season growth habit that is low growing with a grayish/green color has its uses and is also a functional grass for roadsides, soil stabilization, ect. It is also like any of the other warm season turf grasses hard to entirely eradicate. This process will take time and there is no instantaneous method.

Glyphosate ( round up ) use is a good low invasive methodology and the best alternative to excavating and ripping up ground, it also keeps costs down. Now that the buffalo is in dormancy the timing is off and wrong.

Glyphosate blocks enzymatic action, in particular EPSP synthase which aides in active transport of protein synthesis in all higher plants, it is taken in through actively growing foliage and translocated down through food conducting tissue known as the phelom. It then gets taken to perennial parts and storage organs where it completely destroys the plant.

Usually a minimum of 2 applications spaced 3 weeks apart at the max rate work well up to 90 - 95 % control. This needs to be done during the growing season, even with this strategy there can still exist some live stolons that will repropagate and will take avid follow up after the fescue stand is established.

Next year is your target for this work. I suggest slit seeding the fescue in 2 ways to ensure maximum uniformity of the stand as this is a bunch type grass and propagates laterally only a few inches from the plant, the fescue will also require annual overseeding to keep the stand thick and choke out any buffalo that tries to encroach back.


Dirt Boy
10-10-2012, 03:08 PM
Thanks Dave,
That's what I was thinking as well.
Just to clarify, if I cut if off with a sod cutter, there's a good chance that it (buffalo) will still propagate over time?

Dave Stuart
10-10-2012, 03:17 PM
Yes, there would be many left over where regrowth would occur during the warmer months.
Good luck - it's an intense project, just make sure to set the clients expectations and educate them, this will save you some headaches.