3 natural, non-synthetic approaches to lawn replacement

940 Calle Amanecer Suite 'H',

 San Clemente, CA 92673

'UC Verde'

UC Verde Buffalo Grass residential lawn replacement front yard

Residential Lawn Replacement

UC Verde Buffalo Grass pavers, pathways, and stepping stones

Pavers, Paths, & Stepping Stones

UC Verde Buffalo Grass commercial and utility spaces

Commercial & Utility Spaces

UC Verde Buffalo Grass parks and public places sports field

Parks & Public Places

UC Verde Buffalo Grass green roofs playground

Green Roofs (more info here)

UC Verde Buffalo Grass pet and play friendly dog

Pet & Play Friendly

‘UC Verde’ Buffalograss was bred at UC Davis, and is a perfect low water lawn alternative. Extremely heat loving, this warm season grass will use 75 % less water than tall fescue grass, which currently makes up the majority of residential lawns in California. Tough enough for both kids and pet play, this grass has a very soft, fine texture that is inviting to sit (or nap) on, and requires very little maintenance. ‘UC Verde’ is well suited for almost all of California, including the Coachella Valley, on through to Phoenix and Tucson, and is excellent for residential lawns, institutional and park plantings, and bioswales.  

UC Verde Buffalo Grass growing climate map California and Arizona



Frequently Asked Questions

When should I plant?

Though it is possible to plant ‘UC Verde’ Buffalograss year round, being a warm season grass, the optimal time for planting is between April 1st and August 15th, in order to take full advantage of the warmer night and day temperatures, and longer days experienced at this time of year for rapid establishment.

UC Verde Buffalo Grass when to plant chart

*Can be planted at this time but growth will be slowed. Please inquire for special instructions for planting these months

How many plugs do I need?

To calculate the number of plugs needed, measure the area to be installed with ‘UC Verde’ and use the following formulas for appropriate plug spacing.

UC Verde Buffalo Grass how many plugs to plant chart

(ex: plugs places at 15 inch centers in an area of 10,000 sq ft – 10,000X.64= 6,400 plugs)

Note: for most of California, 12” on center (o.c.) is appropriate spacing for residential planting, unless fast fill-in is desired, in which case 9” is recommended. For large projects like parks, 15” o.c. is okay but fill in time will be 4-8 weeks longer.

Rate of fill-in is a direct function of spacing and time of planting. If planting during optimal growing time at recommended spacing you should have full coverage in 12-14 weeks in inland areas, slightly longer in coastal regions.

UC Verde Buffalo Grass growth sequence fill-in time residential lawn replacement

How do I prepare the site?

New Lawns: All areas to be plugged should be free of construction debris, stones, living vegetation etc. If large weed population is expected, a pre-emergent herbicide like Ronstar can be surface applied after planting (DO NOT SOIL INCORPORATE). All grades shall be established and maintained in accordance with drawings and/or applicable specifications.

Renovated Lawns: For lawn conversions involving a healthy COOL SEASON grass like tall fescue, the old lawn may be removed with a sod cutter, or may be killed with a non-selective herbicide, following label instructions. NOTE: IF PRIOR LAWN HAS BERMUDA, KIKUYU OR ANY OTHER RHIZOTOMOUS GRASS, DO NOT PLANT PLUGS WITHOUT PROPERLY GETTING RID OF THESE VERY INVASIVE GRASSES! This involves a ‘triple grow-kill cycle’ for these, where application of non-selective herbicide is followed by a period of watering the area in to promote new growth;  repeated 2- 3 times to ensure eradication of the persistent rhizomes. Please consult your local experts. This process may take long but is worth it!

How do I plant the plugs?

Make sure that plugs are well-watered before planting. If plugs are dry, hand water or soak the plug tray in a large container or sink.

A soil with tilled or loose to depth of 4” is easily planted by hand;  harder soils may benefit from use of a soil auger to make holes for planting.

Start next to a sidewalk, building, etc. Dig or drill a 1 ¼” diameter hole about 1 ½” –inches deep. Place a plug into the hole, being sure the plug is to the bottom of the hole. Failure to place plug firmly to the bottom of hole will create an air pocket under the plug, which will reduce the chance for survival.

Planting plugs too high (above soil level) may lead plugs to air wick dry which can also lead to plant loss. The top of the plug soil should be slightly below ground surface. Measure for the next plug, using the specified spacing. Repeat installation procedure. Continue in a straight line to the end of the planting area. Move the specified spacing for the second row and continue and continue planting. Stagger plugs as on diagram :

UC Verde buffalo grass plugs planting pattern and spacing

More questions? Check out our detailed PDF