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 Post subject: Is Turfallo Buffalo & Shadow grass that great?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:27 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Mckinney,TEXAS
I am new to this forum. I just joined on 3/28/07. There is an ad on the Dirt Doctors site for Turfallo Brand Grasses. It appears that it is a hybrid buffalo grass. They claim that it chokes out weeds. Everything I have read on this forum suggests that buffalo grass is easily taken over by weeds and other grasses because it is non-invasive. However, all of what I read were in old posts from 2003 & 2004. Has buffalo grass been drastically improved since then? Has anyone tried and been successful with the Turfallo and the Shadow turf. They claim the shadowturf can grow in 80-90% shade. At first I thought this was a buffalo grass for the shade but found out it is a Zoysia. Has anyone tried it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:54 am 
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I have not tried nor seen the Shadow grass. It would take a drastic improvement to be able to grow zoysia in that much shade.

Having said that, if anyone can pull off a drastic improvement, I believe it would be the Turffalo folks. I have seen their buffalo improvement and it is GREAT! I stand by all my comments against the general line of buffalo grasses, but Turffalo is much different. I consider it a drastic improvement!!! I saw it in a nursery in Lubbock and in two different homeowner applications. In the nursery it was at least 4 inches tall and extremely dense. I realize it was grown under ideal conditions, but I'm convinced the homeowner could duplicate that at home.

The first homeowner application I saw was mowed down to about 1/2 inch high. It looked like a golf green. It grew up to the neighbor's lawn and stopped, which means the neighbor's grass was not invading the Turffalo. The neighboring lawn was more weedy and tall which would stop the Turffalo from invading. The only place the Turffalo suffered was in the shade of some low trees and adjacent to a brick mailbox. That grass absolutely needs full sun, all day.

The second application was at a frat house near Texas Tech. The first time I saw it there were some dead spots. I assume there were weeds there which were killed off with a weed spray. Later in the summer it looked good. That grass was mowed to about 2 inches and looked great. Again, in the shade of the trees it was bare dirt.

Besides the general high density of Turffalo, one of the benefits is that the seed head stalk grows at the same rate as the grass itself. Picture common bermuda where the seed head pokes up proudly just a few days after mowing. That doesn't happen with Turffalo. The seed head is there at every mowing height but it is not prominent in the turf.

As an aside, I have known since I was a kid that I was allergic to many grasses. Fortunately I am not allergic to St Augustine and in the nearly 30 years since I've been in San Antonio, I had completely forgotten about my allergy, until I laid down to photograph the Turffalo close up. Before I got back into the car my arms were itching like crazy. I could never play with my children in that grass.

I wish I was still living in Lubbock so I could see the Shadow grass in action.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:04 am 
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Location: Mckinney,TEXAS
Thanks for replying to my post. I appreciate your time. The Turfallo website claims that the shadow grass (Zoysia) and the buffalo grass blend beautifully. At first I thought this was because they were both buffalo grass. Have you seen Zoysia anywhere before? If so does it look like it would blend with buffalo grass? Is the color similar?

Cathy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:13 am 
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I've seen zoysia. They are totally different looking plants. Zoysia is a very fine texture. Turffalo (or Tech Turf as they call it now), is fine bladed but it has seed heads that give it a brownish "glaze." I can't comment on color differences. I would say they are different but it depends so much on the nitrogen availability.

I have asked the readers on another lawn forum to see if anyone from Lubbock could go visit some Shadow Turf installations and report back.

Here is a linkto the Turffalo grass comparison chart.

And while I was on the Turffalo distributor web page, I did find that they have San Antonio distributor. I'll go look at the Shadow Turf myself. The cost is about $75/flat. That makes St Augustine at $1.25 per flat look pretty good. But if you can't even grow St Aug because of the shade, it might be worth buying a few plugs (if you can do that).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:23 am 
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Yes, they are very proud of their grasses, especially the Shadow Turf. Let me know what you think after you look at it. Thanks!

Cathy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:30 pm 
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Okay. I visited with Fanick's Nursery in San Antonio to see some Shadow Turf. It looks pretty good - at least in the flat. It looks like a miniature buffalo. It grows short little leafs, low to the ground, spreads quickly from stolons, has very tiny seed heads, and is fine bladed. I had to dig down pretty far to see the soil, so even as short as it seemed, it was very dense.

I talked with Mark Fanick about the grass. Is it zoysia? It doesn't seem to be, but the Turffalo website says it is a hybrid of Manila grass (which is a form of zoysia). Manila grass only grows in full sun, though, so what is this stuff???

I'm willing to try it. We just finished remodeling our house and now we have to relandscape. Flower beds are my wife's hobby, but I'll put in a plug (no pun intended) for a full flat of Shadow Turf up close to the house on the south east side. I'll let you know if she approves the buy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:52 pm 
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Location: Mckinney,TEXAS
My front yard faces the South but I have a big red oak tree that shades most of the lawn. I wonder if it hurts the shadow turf if some of it gets 4-5 hours of sun? If not I could do the whole front lawn in the shadow turf. The only bad thing is the price. At about 300 square feet and their suggestion of 12 inches apart for the plug the price would be $372 just for a very small front lawn. The back yard would probably cost me at least $1000. Most of it I could plant in tech turf (buffalo grass) and the rest in shadow turf. I'm not sure its worth it. I would have to save up for a long time to afford that price! I wonder if you can buy it in seed somewhere?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:09 am 
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You will not find Shadow Turf in seed. These grasses are the end result of some very fancy cross breeding. The provider is rightfully proud of them and will be charging what the market will bear for as long as he can.

Here's a way to cut your costs. Buy one flat of Shadow Turf for about $80. That's 72 plugs. Then plant those as recommended at 1 foot intervals in the sunniest part of your yard. Now, supposedly this stuff will spread, knit, and fill in relatively fast. Once it is filled in, you can take hundreds of plugs from that area to use around to the rest of the lawn. There are plugging tools available at better garden centers to help you with the plug removal.

Or you could take some time to grow your own plugs from the start. Instead of planting all 72 of the plugs, you could prepare a a couple flat "blanks" to grow your own flats of Shadow Turf. You'll need a tray to grow the plugs in. I would take as many medicine cups (1 ounce cups available at H-E-B) at it takes to fill the tray. Punch holes in the bottom of each medicine cup for drainage. Then fill each cup to the very top with your own topsoil (good, bad, or indifferent). Then plant, say, 70 of the Shadow Turf plugs in your lawn and put the two left overs into the center of each of two of your own flat blanks. These may require daily watering to keep them moist enough to spread. Then as the runners spread out from the center, they will root in the prepared cups. When the flats are as dense as you want them, separate the cups with scissors and plant them. And I would water the flats with a little milk or liquid seaweed diluted into the water. That will keep the soil biology happy. 2 ounces of milk or liquid seaweed per gallon of water.

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 Post subject: Buffalo Grass
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:17 am 
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Location: Mckinney,TEXAS
What a great idea! Thank you for replying to me. I appreciate your time. Do you think I should try to kill out the little bit of bermuda and weeds first? Since the shadow turf isn't supposed to be invasive I am worried it will not be able to take them over. Can you direct me to the place on this forum that tells you how to kill grass & weeds the organic way?


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 Post subject: Buffalo Grass
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:19 am 
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Location: Mckinney,TEXAS
What is H-E-B?


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 Post subject: H.E. Butt Grocery Company
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:27 pm
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Location: Mckinney,TEXAS
I never heard of that place. Is there one in the Dallas area? I live in Mckinney, about 30 miles North of Dallas.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:58 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Allen,TEXAS
No plain H-E-B's up here, but they're the top dog grocery store chain in a lot of south Texas (if not the only grocery store).

Regards,
Patrick Ferrell
Allen, Texas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:07 pm 
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Any one-ounce cups will do. Or any small cups you can find. Look for the size they put medicine in at a hospital. Oh, a Jello-shot cup.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:19 pm 
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I installed a flat of ShadowTurf several weeks ago. I can tell you it does not take over very quickly. The surface was sandy loamy. I put cedar mulch around the plugs to help hold the sand and moisture in place. That was a lucky stroke, because I certainly was not expecting so much rain.

I am making a sporadic photographic record so maybe I can quantify the growth rate when/if it fills in.

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