Here’s a list of our most commonly asked questions! We want you to know what you’re buying!
If you can’t find your answer here or you just want to chat with one of us – please don’t hesitate to contact us!
City of Fresno Water Division New Lawn Permit for Daily Watering:
What is UC Verde Buffalograss?
It is a native grass bred by UC researchers at Davis and Riverside in 2003 and is under patent. It was specifically created for the hot dry climates of California and lower Arizona. It uses up to 75% less water than a traditional fescue lawn, has a maximum height of 6″ so it can be mowed every 3-4 weeks to maintain a manicured look or not at all for a natural meadow look and it has very few to no seed heads making it a great option for those with allergies. UC Verde is intended for full sun locations and elevations below 2000 feet. It is an excellent drought tolerant lawn alternative!
Is UC Verde Buffalograss the same as Buffalograss or buchloe dactyloides?
No it’s not exactly the same thing…UC Verde is a variety of Buffalograss, but there are many different varieties that fall under the umbrella of Buffalograss or buchloe dactyloides. UC Verde is the result of breeding the best of many buffalograsses from different regions of the western plains and Mexico. It was developed by UC Davis and UC Riverside specifically for the hot dry climate of California and lower Arizona. UC Verde has a finer texture, later dormancy and earlier emergence and it is also a nearly seedless variety so it doesn’t produce the unsightly seedheads and as a result it is much better for people with allergies.
When is the best time to plant UC Verde Buffalograss?
We recommend planting it from March through August ideally, but this will vary slightly depending on the amount of sunlight your specific installation area receives and the current weather conditions at your location. The reason for this time frame is because UC Verde goes dormant in the winter and your plugs will not grow during this time. In order for your plugs to have optimum success, they should be allowed time to root so that they can go into dormancy stronger and more established.
Is UC Verde Buffalograss available for purchase by homeowners?
Yes, we sell directly to homeowners as well as landscapers, landscape architects and contractors. Public pricing is $73.60 per tray for 1-29 trays, with a quantity discount at 30+ trays at $70.40 per tray. If you are a landscaper please contact our office at 559-275-3844 for special trade pricing.
Do I need to prep my space before installation?
It is extremely important to treat your space prior to installation to make sure that an exisiting weeds, plants or lawns have been killed off so that they do not overtake your young plugs when they are establishing. Often, this is a several week process. After killing off your existing lawn or weeds with a product such as Round-Up Weed and Grass Killer, you will want to wait a day and then begin to regularly water your space to encourage existing weeds and grass to come up. Apply another application to anything that pops up. Repeat this process until everything is eradicated. The chemical absorbs through the leaf and stem only so its killing power won’t spread to non-target plants through soil, but to be safe wait one week after your last application before installing UC Verde Buffalograss. Taking the time to do this before installation will save you from the headache of having isolate the weeds or old grass from the establishing UC Verde plugs. Here is a list of helpful advice from the Lazy Gardening blog on what to do before your installation! Also, we recommend reading up on how to get rid of Bermuda Grass. Trust me, you want to deal with this before you install, not after.
Does UC Verde Buffalograss go dormant?
Yes, it goes dormant during the winter, here in Central California that means from around November to February. 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. During this time it will lose its green color and change to a yellow-ish straw color, but it is still alive and hibernating in a sense. The duration of this color change may be reduced by combining a late fall fertilization with mowing UC Verde to about 1-2 inches in 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. It will return to its usual appearance around spring.
If you do not find the dormant straw color appealing, you can apply a grass colorant to make the lawn appear green or you can overseed with a winter rye. We recommend Green Lawnger; the results are quite natural, the cost is inexpensive and can last up to 13-14 weeks. We applied this to our test plot here and it held its color in full sun all through winter until the lawn came out of dormancy. Please visit our Gallery to see images of the colorant and our demonstration video on how to apply it. Once spring rolls around and you begin to see the green returning to your lawn, mow the dormant layer back to allow the color to show. *Just a quick fyi: we found that you need much more colorant than the label suggests. We mixed our solution according to the suggested ratio, but we needed approximately 7 times the suggested amount of the mixed solution to cover our lawn.
How long does it take to grow?
In the Central Valley of California it will take 120-160 days to fill in depending on the temperatures, length of daylight and spacing. Along the coast, it may take longer than this due to the cooler temperatures.
Is UC Verde Buffalograss invasive?
UC Verde Buffalograss is aggressive, but it is not invasive. It does send out runners in order to spread, but they root slowly and are easily controlled. Grass clippings will not root in planting beds. It does not send out underground runners like Bermuda.
As a drought resistant grass, how often should I water it?
After the initial planting water it daily until the grass has begun to root, then you can slowly reduce watering, eventually get down to once a week. Your area and your soil type may effect the amount of water you need. If you notice your grass is browning on wilting, it may need more water. During winter months, the grass can be watered much less or not at all. It is very important to keep it regularly watered while it is in its inital establishment phase to allow the roots to penetrate the soil and reach down. If you reduce your water too soon, it will force your grass into dormancy in order to protect itself.
The amount and frequency of irrigation really depends on several environmental and soil characteristics. It is important to remember the following:
- Although regular watering is most likely not needed during the rainy season, you may need to water occasionally.
- The need for irrigation increases with increasing temperature.
- Similarly, windy conditions may necessitate more frequent irrigation. Poorly-drained, clay-type soils require less frequent irrigation than sandy soils.
*These are general guidelines. You will need to adjust your watering to match your soil type and current weather conditions. If you begin to notice some spot areas of browning, we’ve noticed a common culprit is inadequate sprinkler coverage due to low water pressure, a broken sprinkler head or clogged sprinkler heads. If you begin to notice all over discoloration try increasing your watering schedule until the grass begins to green and then slowly reducing it. And of course you can always contact us with any questions or concerns you may have!
What kind of conditions is UC Verde Buffalograss best for?
UC Verde Buffalograss needs 7-8 hours of daylight each day. It does best in sunny locations and it is not recommended for locations that receive a lot shade. It will have very delayed or no growth in heavy shade.
Do you have instructions on how to install and maintain my UC Verde Buffalograss?
Of course! You can visit our Growing page for additional information, which is also available in a printable format. Instructions are also included with your shipped order. Our downloadable instructions and the instructions included in your order are both in English and Spanish.
How do I know how much grass I’ll need?
Please visit our Growing page for instructions on how to measure how much grass you’ll need. We typically recommed using our 128 size with 12″ center spacing. If you’d like your lawn to fill in faster use closer spacing, or if you would like to get away with using fewer trays you can space your plugs further apart. With 12″ center spacing you will need a plug per square foot. Divide your total square footage by 128 to find out how many trays you will need.
In what forms can I buy UC Verde Buffalograss?
We sell our grass in plug liners available in a 128 size (1×1.5″ plug, 128 plugs per tray). UC Verde Buffalograss is not available in sod or seed form anywhere due to how it grows – because of its deep root system it is not easily pulled out once established and because it produces very few seed heads, it is not available in seed.
What are the benefits of UC Verde Buffalograss?
With this variety you’ll use up to 75% less water, lower the frequency or need to mow your lawn with a max height of just 4-6 inches, and it’s also better for allegeries since it is not a seeded variety and produces very few seed heads. UC Verde also has very fine blades making it softer to the touch and great for areas where you and your family will spending time. It was made for regular foot traffic and is perfectly safe if dogs or other animals happen to nibble it.
Where does UC Verde Buffalograss come from?
This variety was developed by UC Davis and UC Riverside specifically for the hot and dry climate of California and lower Arizona. It was patented in 2003 under US Patent #12910; unauthorized sale or production is prohibited by law. We are part of a select few licensed to propagate and sell UC Verde Buffalograss, we carry the most economical size.
How will my order be shipped?
For orders of 29 trays and under:
FedEx Ground or OnTrac Ground (shipper preference based on zip code)
- 1 tray box: $18 a box
- Standard box (fits up to 4 trays): $36 per box
*Large orders of 30 trays and over, please call us at 559-275-3844 for a shipping quote.
Customer pick up is also available at our facility in Fresno, California, if you would like to avoid boxing and shipping and handling charges. Available pick up times are M-F, 8:30am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 4:30pm.
*All orders placed for the week by Friday at noon PST are shipped on the following week on Tuesday. If you would like your order to be held to ship on a Tuesday later than the following week, there is no additional fees, please just let us know.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, check and cash. We can accept credit card purchases on our website via Paypal or you can call our office at (559) 275-3844 to place an order.
How much does UC Verde Buffalograss cost?
UC Verde Buffalograss costs $73.60 per tray (128 plugs per tray) for quantities of 1-29 trays. If you are purchasing 30 or more trays we offer a quantity discount reducing the price to $70.40 per tray (128 size). Please contact us for special projects jobs or for landscaper or contractor pricing.
If you’re a propagator of UC Verde Buffalograss, why do you run out of stock occasionally only to have it available again in a few weeks?
We want to provide you with a quality product that is in peak condition and ready to grow! Because of this reason we grow our UC Verde plug trays in batches so that throughout the season our customers are always getting a premium product – not something that has been sitting in the greenhouse for way too long, getting root-bound and overgrown. We try our best to coordinate when our batches will be ready to sell with when our customers will want to buy our trays, but this is more of an art and not a science. Usually if we are out of stock it is only for a couple of weeks at the most until our next batch is ready to go!
I heard Buffalograss will leave you with a lumpy looking lawn, is this true?
There are actually many varieties of Buffalograss – our specific variety, UC Verde Buffalograss, will not leave you with a lumpy lawn. Don’t be frightened when you see your little plugs begin to spread and fill out and look a bit “lumpy”. This is all normal and part of the growing process. Once those little guys completely fill in and establish themselves, you’ll be left with a most beautiful, lump-free, normal lawn (that also saves you lots of water and maintenance time)!
Do you install UC Verde Buffalograss?
We do not do any installations ourselves, but we may be able to recommend someone. Please contact us with your location. However, we do offer a custom auger drill bit attachment that can assist you in your installation 🙂
Where can I see more pictures of others’ UC Verde Buffalograss lawns?