Lorna Harder is one of the experts who helps answer your questions. Lorna teaches environmental biology at Hesston College and is co-author of Growing Native Wildflowers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chances are, if you have a question, other people are wondering about the same thing. So, we developed a list of commonly asked questions and answers and categorized them so you can quickly find the information you are looking for. If you don't find the answers you need, please refer to the Resources section of our website or contact us at (620) 327-8127.
Look here for answers to every question you've ever had about buffalo grass!
What variety is best for Kansas?
At the arboretum, you can view several kinds of buffalograss. Cody, sown from seed, is a dense-type turf that keeps weeds out and covers well the first year. Because of its short height, we mow it only several times a season. You can leave the seedheads for a natural look or mow them off for a more turf type appearance. Another seed variety, Bowie, is being trialed and results are pending. Legacy, planted with plugs, can be used in plantings where erosion could wash out a seeding. It provides a turf type look without seedheads and needs little mowing.
Will a buffalograss lawn create a thatch?
To avoid thatch build-up, Stock Seed Farms suggests using a dethatcher or mowing the grass very short in the spring and catching the clippings.
How to plant and care for native plants.
Can I plant native plants in the fall?
Our customers are buying more plants at our fall sale because they are having such good success. The plants use the warm soils of autumn to establish a vigorous root system. Come spring the plant appears with lush foliage and often bloom that first year. Fall planting gives gardeners a chance to decide what to add to their garden with the images of summer fresh in their minds.
Should I mulch native plants?
Spring mulching: Mulch can be applied about 1 inch thick after transplants are in the ground. If soil is kept too moist, native plants may experience root rot and die.
Fall mulching: After the plants go dormant, mulch with bark, pea gravel or compost to a depth of 2 inches. Mulching keeps the soil temperature more even, reducing the effects of erratic temperature swings of the winter and spring months by keeping the soil frozen, reducing water loss, and reducing frost heaving.
Mulching large plantings (over 1000 sq. ft.) it is usually cost prohibitive and very labor intensive. Most large prairie plantings will be able to survive with no mulching.
How early in the spring should I plant natives?
Native plants do best when planted when soil temperatures are warm. We schedule our FloraKansas plant sale in late April/early May when planting is optimal for the next several weeks.