Buffalo grass seed sprouts best in Texas when it is planted from late spring through early summer (April–June). You will get the best seed germination rates by spreading Buffalo grass seeds when soil temperatures are 60–80℉.
Before planting, make sure Buffalo grass is the right choice for your region of Texas. To have the most success, be sure to check out our guide on planting Buffalo Grass seed.
When Should Buffalo Grass Be Planted in Texas?
Keep an eye on your local soil temperature with a soil temperature map. Buffalo grass seed sprouts best in warm weather. When soil temperatures are steady between 60 and 80℉, it’s time to plant. In most areas of Texas that support Buffalo grass, your soil will reach this point between April and June.
- Soil temperatures 60–80℉.
- Late spring through early summer (April–June).
- If possible, plant early (April–May) to provide seedlings with a longer growing season.
Buffalo grass thrives in warm weather because it is very drought tolerant. In order to allow your new Buffalo grass lawn to get the most benefit from the summer growing season, plant in April or May if soil temperatures allow. This will provide more time for seedlings to establish themselves and store energy for winter.
What Parts of Texas Does Buffalo Grass Grow In?
Buffalo grass is native to Texas and grows well from South Texas (Corpus Christi), to the panhandle (Amarillo), and most places in between. The only parts of the state where it will not establish itself are eastern Texas, where there is sandy soil and heavy rainfall. If you live east of Houston, Buffalo grass likely isn’t the right grass for your lawn. High-precipitation regions such as Houston and Port Arthur are also not ideal for Buffalo grass.
- Grows Best: Areas west of Houston: (Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, West Texas, and the Panhandle).
- Grows Poorly: East Texas and Southeast Texas (Houston, Port Arthur, Piney Woods region).
Buffalo grass requires less water than almost any other species of turfgrass, making it ideal for hot, dry regions. It is a huge money-saver in most areas of Texas, cutting your lawn’s watering needs down to a third of what they would be with other turfgrasses.
How to Plant Buffalo Grass Seed in Texas
Planting Buffalo grass seed in Texas is a great idea, especially if seeded properly. As always, it’s important to prepare the ground by tilling, evenly distributing the grass seeds, and watering them to ensure a high germination percentage. Below are some additional tips for seeding in Texas.
How Much Buffalo Grass Seed Do You Need?
3 pounds of Buffalo Grass seed are required for every 1,000 square feet of lawn when using most seed varieties. This will provide enough grass seed to establish a thick lawn. However, there are several varieties of Buffalo grass seed available on the market. Consult the product information specific to your seed at the time of purchase.
How Long Does it Take Buffalo Grass Seed to Germinate?
At 15–30 days, Buffalo grass is one of the slowest-sprouting turfgrass seeds. When planting Buffalo grass, remain patient. Continue watering your seeded lawn once per day (in the first week after seeding) or every other day (in the second week after seeding). The grass will sprout. One of the most common mistakes new Buffalo grass growers make is that they give up on the seed too soon.
How Long Does Buffalo Grass Take to Establish?
Buffalo grass is capable of establishing itself in a single growing season. If planted in spring (April or May) your Buffalo grass can grow into a full, thick lawn by the time winter arrives.
However, conditions may slow or halt Buffalo grass establishment. Because Buffalo grass is very drought resistant, it will go dormant if it goes an extended period of time without water. The grass will not die, and it will green up again when water returns, but its growth will stop during dormancy.
How Often Should Buffalo Grass Seed be Watered?
New Buffalo grass seed requires more water than an established lawn. Follow this quick watering guide for seeding Buffalo grass.
- Week 1: Water once per day with 1/2 inch of water (about 30 mins with a sprinkler). Shorten watering sessions if water pools or runs off the yard.
- Week 2: Water once every other day with 1/2 inch of water (about 30 mins with a sprinkler).
- Week 3 and Beyond: Water once per week with 1/2–1 inch of water (30–60 mins with a sprinkler).
If your Buffalo grass seed is being especially stubborn and very little has sprouted after week 2, feel free to continue watering every other day until you see the green shoots of new grass coming up. Once it’s better established, Buffalo grass needs very little water, less than half of most other Texas turfgrasses.
Does Buffalo Grass Grow in the Shade?
Buffalo grass performs best when it is grown in sunny lawns. It is not an extremely shade tolerant grass. While it can grow well in light shade, it will struggle to establish itself in heavily shaded yards.
Remember, Buffalo grass is native to American plains, where rolling hills were exposed to daytime sun, with small amounts of shade from small trees. Buffalo grass grows best in open, prairie-like lawns.
Best Fertilizer for Buffalo Grass Seed on a Texas Lawn
Scotts Turf Builder is an excellent fertilizer for your new Buffalo grass lawn. The best program for fertilizing new Buffalo grass is to spread an initial round of fertilizer at the same time you spread the grass seed. Then, apply a second application of Turf Builder fertilizer when the grass seedlings are between 1 and 1 1/2 inches tall.
- Spread fertilizer at the same time you spread grass seed.
- Fertilize new Buffalo Grass again when it is 1–1 1/2 inches tall (4–6 weeks after planting).
By providing ample fertilizer, you ensure more of your grass seed sprouts. Then, the second fertilizer application boosts the growth of the young grass seedlings, establishing your yard more quickly and helping to choke out weeds.
Best Time to Plant Buffalo Grass Seed in Texas
Plant Buffalo grass in spring or early summer. Temperatures are typically ripe for Buffalo grass seeding from April through June in most regions of Texas. Keep in mind, Buffalo grass is a drought-tolerant grass that performs best in sunny, dry lawns. It will not grow well in eastern and southeast Texas.
Once you’ve seeded your Buffalo grass, fertilize it and provide ample water. While it may take 15–30 days for the seeds to sprout, an established Buffalo grass lawn takes very little water to maintain, looks beautiful, and can withstand any drought.