Monday, July 4, 2016

Is Dog Tuff™ grass right for your lawn?

African dogtooth grass was discovered by Denver Botanic Gardens’ Panayoti Kelaidis in the early 1980's. In the late '80's, Colorado horticulturalist Kelly Grummons recognized the grass might have a use in Colorado lawns and through his extensive testing, developed Dog Tuff™.
The resulting grass, Dog Tuff™ was recognized in 2015 by the trade group Direct Gardening Association and in 2016 by Plant Select. Dog Tuff™ is a warm weather grass, so the time to plant it is now as opposed to Kentucky Blue grass and Perennial Rye, which are cool weather grasses and are planted in the spring and fall. Dog Tuff™ doesn't produce seeds.
It is grown from cuttings or clones. Dog Tuff™ is typically low-growing, so it doesn't need to be mowed. This grass is more drought tolerant than buffalo grass, so it takes less water. It doesn't need to be fertilized and it does okay in our clay soils. If you decide to plant Dog Tuff™ you'll need to get rid of your existing lawn. You can do this by covering the area with a dark tarp and letting the sun kill it off (solarizing),by applying 20% acetic acid (horticultural vinegar) or citric-based Avenger™.  Plan to water the area thoroughly before planting.
You'll buy Dog Tuff™ in plugs, such as these. Plugs are typically planted 12" apart at the same depth as they came out of the container. Once established, you can apply corn gluten to prevent weeds from coming up between the plugs. Corn gluten also releases a small amount of Nitrogen into the soil as it breaks down. Some things to consider before planting Dog Tuff™. This is warm weather grass, which means it won't green up before May and it will go dormant and turn brown with the first frost in fall. The other thing to be concerned about is  Dog Tuff™ can be very aggressive, spreading it's roots into gardens and neighboring lawns. At the very least, you should plan a 3' to 4' open space between the Dog Tuff™ and other areas where you may not want grass.
In the end, Dog Tuff™ may be best used in a small, well-controlled space such as a dog run, rather than an entire lawn.


  1. Hello, are you going to carry this grass in 2017?

  2. In areas with a long winter season, about 30% of your plants should have evergreen or ever-present foliage (many plants with blue or gray foliage hold onto their leaves when dormant). self propelled lawn mowers at lowes