There are two popular native turf blends. The first is 30% Blue Gramma, 30% Sideoats Gramma and 40% Buffalo Grass. Sideoats grama will grow to about 18 inches, so if you don’t plan to mow and prefer to grow the second shorter blend consisting of a 50-50 blend of Blue Gramma and Buffalo Grass. PLS is a measure of the percentage of seed that will germinate. For example, if you order 100 lbs. of seed with 85% PLS, only 85 lbs. will germinate. Typically seed at the rate of 1 - 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
Key to Native Turf Establishment
- Seed in late spring or early summer.
- Test soil to determine if starter fertilizer is needed. Usually, fertilizer won’t be needed. It’s safer to not fertilize or under-fertilize than to over-fertilize.
- Eliminate soil compaction if possible and prepare a friable seedbed.
- Broadcast seed, then pack the site for good seed to soil contact. Do not incorporate seed deeper than an ¼ inch.
- Water as needed to enhance germination and avoid drought stress in the first year. Keep moist, but not saturated. Be careful not to overwater.
- Mow to minimize weed growth the first year.
- Native turf may be slower to establish than regular turf, so be patient.
Key to Weed Control
- Avoid fertilizing with nitrogen
- Avoid frequent irrigation
- Control crabgrass with preemergence chemicals
- Do not use 2,4-D during the first year or when temperatures are above 80 degrees