The Ultimate Guide to Buffalo Sod

Terrance Sowell photo
buffalo image

In this guide to Buffalo, we'll discuss everything from cost to best mowing height while also looking at the pros and cons. By the end, you'll be perfectly positioned to know whether it's the right sod type for you.

What Is Buffalo Sod?

Buffalo sod is like a green carpet for your lawn. It's rolled out like a fresh blanket of grass. We use it to make our yards look amazing fast.

Buffalo sod, a special type of grass, stands out from other kinds. It's tough. It's also pretty drought-tolerant. We love that because it saves water.

And it's soft under our feet :)

Pros

Cons

Durable

Can be Pricey

Low Maintenance

May Struggle in Shade

Water-wise

Needs Proper Soil Prep

We put down the sod, and it grows roots into the soil. This happens pretty quick - usually within 2 - 4 weeks, it's like the sod has always been there!

How is it different? Buffalo grass species include Buchloe dactyloides. It's native to prairies. So, it's used to rough weather. It doesn't need a lot of babying.

Remember, all grass needs some care. But with buffalo sod, it's got a head start. It's good grass, made to last.

Defining Features

Buffalo Sod, or Buchloe dactyloides, comes with its own set of unique traits. We're talking about a grass variety that's all about toughness and resilience. First up, it's drought-tolerant. This means we don't need to worry too much about water usage.

When it comes to sun exposure, Buffalo Sod loves it. It basks in full sunlight but shows solid performance in partial shade too. So, versatility? Check. Its blades are fine and form a dense, lush carpet, giving us that soft, green look we all love.

Here's something cool: Buffalo Sod is low-maintenance. We don't need to mow it constantly. It keeps well, even if we're a bit lazy with the lawnmower. And it's not just about aesthetics; this grass is a tough cookie. It has strong wear tolerance, so it can handle heavy foot traffic.

Feature

Description

Drought-resilient

Needs less water

Sun-loving

Thrives in full and partial sun

Low-maintenance

Mow it less, still looks great

Tough

Stands up to foot traffic

We've also got to talk about its temperature range. It can handle both cool and warm climates, making it a champ across both warm and cool zones.

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And let's not forget its color. We get a beautiful shade of blue-green, unique to the Buffalo variety, giving our lawns a standout appearance. Lastly, it spreads using stolons and therefore, aids in quick recovery from any damage. It's grass that's truly got our back.

When to Lay Buffalo Sod

Timing is everything when laying buffalo sod. Let's make sure you do it right by checking soil and light conditions, so your sod turns into a lush lawn.

Soil Conditions

Before we lay the sod, it's important to make sure the soil is ready. The best soil temperature for laying buffalo sod is consistently above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This warmth ensures the roots can establish themselves.

  • Moisture Level: The soil should be moist, but not soggy.

  • Preparation: It needs to be tilled to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.

  • Nutrients: Conduct a soil test. Our sod thrives with a pH between 6 and 7.5.

Light Conditions

Buffalo sod loves sunlight, but it can handle some shade too. When checking light conditions, here’s what we need to consider:

  • Sun Exposure: Ideally, we want a place that gets full sun or partial shade.

  • Shade Tolerant: Buffalo grass can survive with at least 4 hours of direct sunlight.

By focusing on these key aspects, we set our buffalo sod up for success.

Where to Buy Buffalo Sod

When we're looking for buffalo sod, you've got options. You can hit up local garden centers or sod farms. They usually have fresh sod. And it's a good way to support our community businesses.

Sometimes we're looking for convenience. That's when big box stores come into play. Places like Home Depot or Lowe's might have what we need. Just give them a call or check online before driving over there, to make sure they've got buffalo sod in stock. It can be a little pricier this way (I've seen over $500 per pallet at The Home Depot).

Here's another way—online sellers. Yep, we can actually buy sod on the internet. Sites like Sod Solutions or Nature's Finest Seed have you covered. They'll ship the sod straight to your doorstep, but can also be somewhat costly.

Seller Type

Examples

Pros

Local Stores

Joe's Garden Center

Supports local business, fresh supply

Big Box Stores

Home Depot, Lowe's

Convenient, usually in stock

Online

Sod Solutions

Delivered to us, easy browsing

Remember, before we buy, let's check reviews. A bit of research saves time and hassle. Happy sod hunting!

A Note on Measurement: Rolls, Pallets and Square Feet

When we talk about buying buffalo sod, we measure in rolls, pallets, and square feet. Let's break it down.

Rolls: Each roll is a strip of sod. Usually, it's about 24 inches wide and 54 inches long which gives us 9 square feet. Think of a roll as a big grass carpet swatch. It's perfect for small areas or patching up spots.

Pallets: A pallet is a bunch of sod rolls stacked together. We're looking at around 50 to 60 rolls on a pallet. This gives us between 450 and 600 square feet of sod. It's like a party pack!

Square Feet: This is the nitty-gritty. We measure our lawn area in square feet. To get this number, multiply the length by the width of the area. Need 300 square feet? You'll grab around 30 to 35 rolls or half a pallet.

Here's a quick list to remember:

  • Roll - About 24" x 54" = 9 sq ft

  • Pallet - About 50-60 rolls = 450-600 sq ft

  • Square Footage - Length x Width of the lawn area

Keep these measurements in mind when planning. They help us figure out how much sod we need without overdoing it. Happy sodding!

Choosing an Installation Company

When we're ready to lay new buffalo sod, finding the right installation company is crucial. We've got to consider their expertise, past work, and, of course, the costs involved.

A Note on Estimates: Prices, Quotes, and the Actual Cost

We need to get estimates from several sod installation companies. Estimates should be free. They give us an idea of the ballpark figure we'll be working with.

Quotes, on the other hand, are more precise. They should detail the cost breakdown. This includes labor, materials, and any additional services. Reading a quote thoroughly is a must. We're looking for hidden fees or services we didn’t ask for.

The actual cost might change. It often depends on the condition of our lawn before installation. We may need extra soil preparation or encounter unforeseen issues that could add to the price.

To keep things clear, here’s a simple table to understand these terms:

Term

Definition

Note

Estimate

Rough calculation of the cost

No commitment, can change

Quote

Detailed cost breakdown with specifics

More binding than an estimate, less flexible

Actual Cost

The final amount we pay after all work is completed

Can be higher than the quote due to changes

Before we decide, let's compare at least three of those quotes. It’s not just about finding the cheapest deal. We want good value for our hard-earned cash. Check customer reviews, and if possible, look at some of their previous installations. This way, we can go for the company that aligns with our expectations and budget.

Key Characteristics of Buffalo

Buffalo grass brings toughness to the table. Its traits make it stellar for less-than-perfect lawn conditions.

Durability and Resilience

We're talking about a real tough cookie. Buffalo grass can handle heavy foot traffic like a champ. It's a top pick for parks and sports fields for this reason.

Dormant Season

When winter hits, buffalo grass takes a nap. It turns brown, but don't stress—it's just chillin'. Once the warm weather rolls back, it wakes up good as new.

Drought Tolerance

Buffalo grass is like a camel. It can survive on minimal water, thanks to deep roots that sip moisture from way down. Less rain? No problem.

Cold Tolerance

Buffalo's not scared of a little chill. It can withstand cold pretty well, but if you're up north, it might need a cozy blanket of straw for the deep freeze.

How to Care for Buffalo

Buffalo sod takes a bit of TLC, but we've got this! Stick to these basics and our grass will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Cleaning and De-Thatching

First up, we want to keep our buffalo turf free of debris. A rake can help us gather leaves and twigs. Now, de-thatching. Buffalo doesn't thatch much, but a light rake every now and then keeps it breathing easy.

Core Aerating

Aerating's a breeze. We punch small holes into the soil so that air, water, and nutrients get down deep. Aim for every couple of years. Spring's the best time, but we can do it in fall too.

Mowing

Here’s the scoop on mowing: once a week in growing season. Our blade should be sharp, and we want to cut about 2-3 inches high. Taller grass means deeper roots, and that's good for staying lush.

Watering

Watering's key, but don't drown it. We're aiming for an inch a week—maybe a bit more in hot weather. Early morning's prime time so the sun can dry leaves and fend off disease.

Fertilizing

Let's talk food. Fertilizing in spring and fall keeps our buffalo sod strong. We don't need much, just half a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Stick to slow-release fertilizers for a steady diet.

Controlling Pests

No one likes bugs in the lawn. If we spot grubs or other critters, we reach for eco-friendly pest control. Spot treat when needed, and always follow the label. Better safe than sorry!

Pros & Cons of Buffalo Sod

Pros:

  • Drought Tolerance: We love how buffalo sod handles heat. It survives in dry conditions.

  • Low Maintenance: It's a winner for us who hate mowing. Buffalo grass needs less cutting.

  • Pest Resistant: Bugs? Not a problem often with buffalo grass.

Cons:

  • Cold Sensitivity: Winter can be rough. Buffalo sod doesn’t like the cold.

  • Slow Growth: Patience is key. It takes time to establish.

Buffalo sod is a champ at many things. It keeps its cool when the sun's blasting. You won't be tied to your lawn mower, either. But remember, it doesn’t love the cold. You'll need to wait for it to get all cozy and grown in. Remember, no grass is perfect, but buffalo sod has some good stuff going for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a bunch of questions about buffalo sod, so we're gonna hit you with the quick answers you need to get your lawn on point.

What's the best time of year to lay down buffalo grass seed in regions like Kansas?

Honestly, seeding time is clutch. For Kansas, we’re talking late spring to early summer. Aim for when soil temps hit a cozy 60°F. That’s roughly from May to mid-July.

How often do you need to water buffalo grass to keep it looking great?

Buffalo grass is chill with drought, but if you want that lush look, give it a deep soak once a week. We’re talking one inch of water, whether from rain or your hose.

Can you give some tips for successfully cultivating buffalo grass from seed?

For sure! First, pick a sunny spot—buffalo grass loves the sunshine. Prep your soil nice and smooth. Sprinkle those seeds evenly. Don't bury them too deep; just a light dusting of soil will do. Keep the area moist until those sprouts show up.

Buffalo versus other types of sod

Level Up Your Lawn Skills

Once per week we'll send you an interview from someone who has mastered the art of lawn care.