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What is Turf-type Buffalograss?



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Buffalograss has survived for millions of years, through droughts, floods and insect invasions. It is the only turfgrass that is native to the United States.  Buffalograss has a very low water requirement and a deep root system that grows several feet into the soil. This root system allows it to draw water and nutrients from a large area. Buffalograss thrives on 1/4 inch of water per weekWater savings with buffalograss is astounding. Over one million gallons of water can be saved on every turf acre every year by replacing a high water-use turfgrass, like bluegrass, with buffalograss.  The timing of your natural rainfall will dictate when, and if, additional watering will be required.  Buffalograss is highly resistant to common turf insects including; grubs, webworms and billbugs.


During the 1980's, turf managers saw the need for a quality turfgrass that would be less costly to maintain.  An effort was made to find a new, low maintenance grass for lawns because of the increasing population worldwide and the limited amount of water to go around.  As a result of this research, the first turf-type buffalograss varieties were released in the early 1990's.  These first generation, seedless varieties were "609", Prairie, "315" and "378".  Seeded types like Cody, Bam 1000 and Tatanka also came on the market.  They also reduced mowing and the amount of money spent on fertilizer and chemicals each year.  Turf-type buffalograss became the "protector of our environment."  Even though seedless varieties had a definite advantage over the seeded types, they still lacked the overall density and color to compete with the looks of a traditional lawn.


Then in 2000, Legacy® Buffalograss, a second generation turf-type seedless variety, developed by the University of Nebraska, came to market.  Legacy's soft, narrow blade made the turf an ideal choice for lawn activities.  It had a dark blue-green color.  The quality of Legacy Buffalograss surpassed all other types of vegetative and seeded buffalograss. The popularity of buffalograss soared.




Legacy Buffalograss turf offered an exciting new dimension in turf maintenance.  You could have a beautiful manicured lawn without the constant watering and mowing.  Development of new varieties continued.  It was unrealistic to think one variety would be the best grass for all areas and climates.  In 2003 UC Verde® was released by University of California creating the ultimate grass for the heat of the lower valley of Arizona and California.  Prestige™ followed in 2004 for the humid climates like the south and southeast United States.


Todd Valley Farms owns the exclusive right to all three of these remarkable grasses.  All three are seedless, or vegetatively reproduced. Vegetative varieties offer many advantages over seeded types.  They establish faster.  Our accelerated growth plugs should give you a lawn in 2 to 4 growing months instead of 3 to 5 years required for seeded types.  While vegetative varieties produce a few pollen heads under certain conditions they do not produce the massive quantities that the seeded varieties do.  Seeded varieties need to be mowed regularly to remove these unsightly heads.  Vegetative varieties are generally considered pollen free, creating a improved environment for people and pets with allergies. The establishment window for seeded types is very short.  Seeded types must be seeded during early summer when temperatures are high and weeds are prevalent.  The use of chemicals during establishment is very limited.  Plugs and sod have a planting window from spring until fall and can be treated with chemicals to prevent weed growth during establishment. 


We feel the conservation of water is a must for all of us, but we must also reduce our dependency on chemicals and the need for the weekly ritual of mowing. Lawnmowers are one of the worst polluters of the air we breath.  Our buffalograss varieties require mowing only once every 2 to 3 weeks.  Since these varieties have such a short maximum height, many people choose to leave their lawns un-mowed.


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 plug.


For more information on a distributor in your area go to the Buffalograss Grower and Distributor Page or place an order online for plugs to be shipped directly to you.



From the prized, front yard of a home... to a child's playground... to an installation of plugs on the roof top of a downtown building...turf type buffalograss adapts to a wide range of landscapes.

Buffalograss can be used as the only turfgrass in your yard or in conjunction with traditional turf grasses to create a distinctive landscape.  Every landscape has areas where Buffalograss will fit, giving the opportunity to expand the usable turf area, yet reduce maintenance costs.  Flower bulbs can be planted into Buffalograss in a median on a city street or in your front yard to give an early spring burst of color that will give way to green grass as summer approaches.  Buffalograss can be installed on a green roof to purify the air, control rainwater runoff, insulate the building and dramatically extend the life of the roof.  The use of Turf-type Buffalograss is limited only by your imagination.




Water Reduction

Todd Valley Farms buffalograss varieties give up to a 75% reduction in water consumption, therefore saving you money.  These varieties thrive on a fraction of the amount of water needed for most turfgrasses.  With a root system extending several feet into the ground, watering is not needed in most parts of the country.  The rest of the country will see a substantial reduction in water usage.  In gallons this means about one million gallons of water per acre can be saved by using Legacy, Prestige or UC Verde. This allows water to be used for other necessities, like drinking.




If you are purchasing buffalograss plugs and are concerned about watering requirements to establish the plugs, you should also consider purchasing Zeba Root Dip.


The ONE OUNCE PACKET will dip approximately 1000 plugs, for only $9.99!


· Helps protect root systems from drying out after planting.

· Decreases plant stress for improved stand development.

· Holds 400 times it’s weight in water.

· Slowly releases just the right amount of water to the roots as needed.

· Gives you higher plant survival rates and consistently higher quality plants.


Mowing Reduction 

Buffalograss from Todd Valley Farms reduces or eliminates mowing, saving you money and protecting the quality of air we breath.  Lawn mower engines are one of the worse polluters of our atmosphere. Buffalograss has a slow vertical growth habit. Legacy will only grow to a height of 3 to 5 inches. Prestige will grow to a height of 4 to 8 inches and UC Verde will grow a height of 4 to 6 inches.  There is no set mowing schedule for Buffalograss.  Just mow for the look you are trying to create.  For a manicured turf, you will need to mow once every two to three weeks.  Todd Valley Farms Buffalograss only grows 3 to 8 inches so it never looks unsightly.  Generally, the lower maximum height  will be in drier climates, whereas the higher height will be in areas with annual rainfall of 30 or more inches.  We do recommend that you mow at least one time per year.



Pollen Reduction

Buffalograss from Todd Valley Farms is the turfgrass choice for a pollen reduced landscape.  People with allergies and asthma should consider a landscape with low pollen plants.  This creates a more comfortable environment and reduces the amount of medicine needed for those who suffer from allergies or asthma.  The American Lung Association recommends using plants which have a pollen rating of 6 or less.  Legacy and Prestige Buffalograss have a rating of 1. UC Verde has only a slightly higher rating.

"Legacy® Buffalograss is a true pollen-free sod lawn grass and is highly recommended for allergy-free gardens and landscapes. On the OPALS/TM scale, where 1 is least allergenic and 10 is worst, Legacy® Buffalograss well deserves the highest rating of #1. I recommend it also for use as a drought-tolerant, no-mow, attractive, grassy groundcover."

Thomas Leo Ogren, author of Allergy-Free Gardening.


Chemical Reduction

Buffalograss reduces our dependence on chemicals.  Using less chemicals is significant because you can protect the environment and save money in the process.  Every year millions of dollars are spent applying insecticides to control turf damaging insects.  While this allows us to have beautiful grass, it also kills beneficial insects in the soil.  Buffalograss is resistant to most turf damaging insects so the need for an insecticide is rare.  While you may need chemicals to control some weeds in a highly manicured lawn, our turf-type Buffalograss is very dense and aggressive, making it more difficult for weeds to infest the turf.  The environment is a definite winner with Buffalograss. 






Buffalograss is eligible for water rebates in many cities with limited supplies of water.  Since Todd Valley Farms Buffalograss varieties use a fraction of the water of most turfgrasses, many cities offer rebates if you plant these water conserving grasses.  Check with your local water board or city officials to see if you qualify.



Legacy and Prestige Buffalograss have excellent sod strength.  Unlike other buffalograss varieties, they are able to be harvested as sod and installed with ease.



"Year Round Color" Options

"So why doesn’t everyone use turf-type Buffalograss?"

The environmental and economic traits of turf-type buffalograss cannot be disputed. A typical homeowner will save hundreds of dollars a year on lawn maintenance costs. Large turf installations can save thousands of dollars.



The only apparent drawback of Buffalograss is that its’ growing season is shorter than bluegrass or fescue. We have been told that the longer the growing season for grass the better. But the longer growing season also costs time and money. So how do you have a green lawn everyday of the year with Buffalograss if it’s season is shorter.

In the warm climates of the United States, where winters are mild and summer temperatures reach into the 90's or higher consistently throughout the summer, turf-type buffalograss from Todd Valley Farms can be over-seeded during the fall with ryegrass, the same way Bermuda is over-seeded. This will give you a green and growing winter lawn during the winter and when temperatures increase the next spring the ryegrass will die in the heat and the buffalograss will once again give you a low water-use turf with minimal mowing. Over-seeding with ryegrass should only be done in areas where the summer weather is severe enough to prohibit the survival of the ryegrass. Check with your local extension horticulturist before proceeding with this option.



Another option available to all areas is turf painting. The density and upright nature of our turf-type buffalograss enables it to be “painted” during the normal dormant cycle allowing you to have a green lawn 12 months out of the year. Special turf colorant is available to spray on the grass with a back pack sprayer or by a lawn service with their regular chemical application equipment. If the turf colorant is unavailable, you can also use regular latex paint from your local paint store. Thin the paint with enough water to allow it to be sprayed through the sprayer. For the best coverage paint twice with the second application applied at a 90º angle from the first application. It is simple and inexpensive to do and one application should last the entire winter. In the spring the grass will start growing and the paint will be mowed off. We suggest you use green paint, but, of course, that is up to you.

By painting the Buffalograss you can have a dark green lawn even with snow on it.



UC Verde California-Specific Winter growth and color


Like most plants,  UC Verde will go through changes during the winter months.  Vertical growth will cease or slow down eliminating any need to mow or water.  Horizontal stolen growth will also slow or stop, so its ability to fill in open areas at this time will be limited.  Winter color will vary by geographic location.

For coastal California  UC Verde will begin to take on subtle change to a tan color mixed in with green. This will occur in December, after the onset of shorter day light hours and colder temperatures as plants go into a semi-dormant phase or winter rest. The colder it is, the more tan to straw color the surface foliage will become.


For inland areas where winter temperatures consistently drop into the 20's, there may be complete color change and dormant phase until the temperatures begin to rise again.  These winter changes generally last about 60 to 90 days.

The duration of this color change may be reduced by combining a late fall fertilization with mowing UC Verde to to about 1 inch height when you begin to see the change in color.  This will allow the sun to keep the soil warmer reducing these changes.  In the late winter, repeat the fertilization to encourage the grass to begin growing again.  If you want to have your lawn totally green during the winter months, an organic based turf colorant can be applied.

What crisis? Some businesses are booming (© Christopher Solomon)


Hawaii is also in need of water conservation.  A growing population is creating increasing demands on the islands water supply.  The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has initiated a conservation program that is meant to preserve the islands underground water supply before it is to late.

Over 50 percent of Hawaii’s water-use goes toward the outdoor landscape.  Turf-type buffalograss in lawns can substantially reduce the gallons used on maintaining grass throughout Hawaii.  This savings will help ensure an adequate water supply for future generations. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply encourages the residents of Hawaii to incorporate Xeriscape principles into their outdoor landscapes.  These principles promote the use of separate and functional turf areas.  Buffalograss is the recommended Xeriscape grass.

Due to the wide range of climates in Hawaii, we have the production of UC Verde, Legacy and Prestige on the islands so you can have the best turf for your area.

Hawaii also has a Weed Risk Assessment [WRA] program that analyses plants as to their risk of becoming invasive and threatening to native plant life on the islands.  Buffalograss is the only turfgrass that is on the “OK to Plant” list. All other turfgrasses are considered invasive. The WRA is another valuable reason to plant UC Verde, Prestige or Legacy.

For availability in Hawaii call:

Ameri-Turf Logo

Po Box 913  •   Kahuku, HI 96731  •  808-293-1544



The need to conserve water is not confined to the United States. As the world population increases, water consumption for basic human needs increases.  This leaves less water for our lawn and landscape areas.   Turf areas are very important to our quality of life and in order to preserve this quality we must use grasses that preserve our water supply.

Buffalograss has a wide range of adaptation and is native to many parts of the world.  Legacy®, Prestige™ and UC Verde™ make it possible to match the best buffalograss cultivar to your individual climate.  Todd Valley Farms is able to export its vegetative buffalograss to most foreign countries. To learn more about export or production possibilities in foreign countries contact Wayne Thorson via email at    800-869-8544     View our PRIVACY POLICY       Revised March 1, 2010


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