Plugs placed 18 inches
apart should cover in 2 to 4 growing months. Reduced
spacings should be used for areas subject to erosion, such
as slopes,or when a quicker establishment is desired.
plugs until planting
You do not have to
plant the plugs immediately, but the plugs are
perishable. Unpack the plugs as soon as possible from
the box they were shipped to you in or remove them from your
vehicle as soon as you get home. 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
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. Rake smooth.
Then follow the
"Spacing and Planting"
directions below for planting the plugs.
Herbicide Method -
directions, spray the entire planting area with glyphosate
non-selective herbicide such as RoundUp®. If you have
“hard-to-kill” perennial weeds or invasive grass, such as
Zoysia or Bermuda, wait one week and apply a second
application of Round Up®. After a minimum of 48 hours your
site is ready to plug. Mow to 1 inch height before planting.
- If you prefer not
to use chemicals in your renovation you need to remove the
current grass by one of the following methods:
° Remove the existing
grass using a sod cutter (these are available at many rental
stores). Till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, let it
dry for a few days. Then water to compact the soil. Rake to
an even grade when dry.
° 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. Be sure to repeat several times to get 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. NOTE: Mechanical
eradication may not work with “hard-to-kill” perennial weeds
or invasive grasses like Bermuda or Zoysia. Use herbicides
for these situations.
Spacing and Planting
recommend dipping your plugs in
ZEBA as you plant.
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. 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.
"Click Here" to view a short clip of
buffalograss plugs being installed.
If you have a slope that you want to
place the plugs on, but are worried about erosion, you will need to use
some kind of erosion control. After installation is complete,
place a lightweight biodegradable erosion control mat or straw mat on
top of the plugs. This will help control the erosion and help keep
the area moist, but will not interfere with the growth of the plugs.
Water your new plugs
immediately after planting, soaking each plug thoroughly with
Miracle Gro 15-30-15 general purpose plant food, following label
instructions. This will give your plugs a boost that will
help insure success. Keep the area wet 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, as well as your soil type. Clay soil will
require less water than sandy soil. Water your
buffalograss to prevent stress. Buffalograss is under
stress when the grass blades wilt or the tips turn a
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.
apply a fertilizer with pre-emergent weed control following the label directions. Scotts makes Halts Crabgrass
Preventer® or Turfbuilder with
Halts®. Most garden centers will have these
products or similar herbicides. Repeat this application at 1/2 rate in 8 weeks.
In poor soil
conditions or Southern climates a third fertilizer
application, without pre-emergent, may be done in
mid-summer and a fourth application can be applied in
weeds such as dandelions, clover or pigweeds can be controlled after they emerge
using broadleaf weed herbicides without 2-4D or a
granular weed and feed. Products like
Scotts Turfbuilder Plus2® , which contain 2-4D, can be applied when the temperature is below 85
READ THE LABEL BEFORE APPLYING!
Never use a product which contains 2-4D when the temperatures are above 85
degrees. This will harm your
The following herbicides can
safely be used on Buffalograss at anytime of the
year to control most weeds. They must be
RTS [Ready to Spray] formulations.
The container attaches to your garden hose for quick
and easy application. The large amount of
water applied with the RTS makes
injury to the buffalograss unlikely, even during
high temperatures. If applying during the summer,
apply in the evening. A second application may be
needed in 10-20 days for some weeds. Available at
most garden centers.
Broadleaf weeds may also be controlled at any
temperature with "Spotlight®" or "Momentum™". Annual grassy weeds that are present like crabgrass
or foxtail may be controlled with "DRIVE®" or "Tenacity™". Consult a
professional lawn care company for application of these chemicals.
to kill perennials and unwanted perennial grasses like bluegrass and fescue can
be eliminated in the late fall or early spring by spraying round-up on your lawn
while the buffalograss is dormant and when the unwanted weeds or grasses are
still green and growing. Buffalograss is dormant when no green shows in the foliage; a small amount of green at the base of the plant is
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 Todd Valley Farms or return to this web site for the latest
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
To reduce the amount of hand
weeding, an organic weed control, corn gluten or an
organic fertilizer with corn gluten can be applied to
reduce the amount of weeds in the planting. Corn Gluten
is not 100% effective the first few years but continual
use every year will improve control. Corn gluten is a
natural product made from corn and is available at most
important during the establishment period to
encourage the buffalograss to spread and to control
weed growth. Mow the area at 1 1/2 to 3 inches as
frequently as necessary to control weed growth. If
left un-mowed, your grass will reach a height of 3
to 8 inches, depending on variety and your local
climate. There is no set mowing height for these
buffalograss varieties. Just mow to the look you
desire. In preparation for winter in Zones 6 and
below, mow to a height of 2 to 2 ½ inches in late
summer and early fall. Remember to mow to 1 inch or
less in the early spring.