Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Landscaper Touts Advantages of New Grass Strain

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Landscaper Touts Advantages of New Grass Strain

Article excerpt

It may not seem like much, a small plot of Bermuda grass being treated with liquid death. But this 2,000-square-foot experiment at The Village at Central Park subdivision will provide the first test for what one Tulsa landscaper believes could revolutionize landscaping in Oklahoma.

Bluum Outdoor Environments claims to be the first to introduce Legacy buffalo grass to the Sooner State.

The new strain of turf grass, developed over several years at the University of Nebraska, requires only a quarter-inch of water a week, one-half to one-third of that required by Bermuda and other strains. With roots four to six feet long, Legacy may go several weeks without watering.

The grass spreads quickly, with a yard of pods 18 inches apart approaching saturation in less than 90 days. And since it grows only four to six inches tall, Legacy requires mowing only once or twice a year.

Although Legacy won the 2001 Green Thumb award as the top new plant introduction of the year, J. Nathan Vaughn suspects the initial higher cost of planting pods for the seedless grass probably hindered its initial acceptance in Oklahoma. But in this age of high gasoline prices, ozone warnings, rising electricity costs and water shortages, the president and owner of Bluum thinks the economic advantages of Legacy make it the grass of the future.

"If people knew they didn't have to mow their yards more than once or twice just to keep it nice, can you imagine the impact that would have just with the Clean Air Act and the smog issues we have to deal with in Tulsa?" he said.

This summer Vaughn detailed the Legacy selling points to officials with the city of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and several other entities responsible for maintaining large grasslands. While many expressed interest, he said they also face budget restraints that limit opportunities for such tests.

That's when private developer Jamie Jamieson stepped in. Appreciating the sustainability concepts behind Legacy, which was developed from a grass native to Oklahoma, the mover behind The Village at Central Park hired Bluum to kill off one small field of Bermuda grass at his downtown subdivision for planting Legacy. …

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