Originally Posted by perchie.girl
i been meaning to ask... If I were to introduce grasses for browse for my horse. Could I plant Buffalo grass during the rainy season and expect it to survive and grow without water... I could use Ollas and make oasis for the grass. But I hear their roots go very deep.
Or do you have another suggestion
The only other way I can think of is to do hydroponic fodder.
I have a MOUNTAIN of composted horse poo. just need a tractor to extract it.
Buffalo Grass is considered a "low water need" grass, when compared to lawn grasses. It is a component of short grass prairie, which is lots more water than you will get from the heavens or want to use from your well to water. It actually wants 12 inches of rain a year at minimum.
You need to look at grasses that like growing in "Desert Shrublands" because that is where you are.
Some top choices would be:
Indian Ricegrass, Achnatherum hymenoides
This website below is a long technical paper on all of the pros and cons regarding Indian Ricegrass. If you don't understand anything on the page, just tell me, I am happy to explain.
Quote about Indian Ricegrass:
It grows best in areas that receive 8-14 inches annual precipitation but has been observed to establish and reproduce from seeding in areas with as low as 6 inches annual precipitation. It prefers sandy, coarse textured soils and can also be found on sands, fine sandy loams, silt loams, clay loams, gravelly, rocky and shale soil textures
Another choice is Mesa Dropseed, Sporobolus flexuosus
Mesa Dropseed is a short-lived bunchgrss
Quote about Mesa Dropseed:
Mesa dropseed occurs mainly in dry areas with mean annual precipitation of 12 inches (300 mm) or less; it can survive in areas with as little as 6 to 7 inches (150-180 mm) mean annual precipitation [41,46]. It occurs on well-drained sand, sandy loams, loamy sands and gravelly soils [3,7,15,29]..
Blue Grama, Bouteloua gracilis
This one is a pain to grow from seed, but with a small plot you might manage. Actually, many of the desirable grasses are very difficult to grow from seed. They persist in an environment by reproducing vegetatively (runners and such things). In order to reproduce by seed, many of the most desirable grasses need two full weeks of damp and cloudy weather, in nice warm temperatures. After they get started, they can be very robust.
Roots of individual blue grama plants generally extend 12 to18 inches (30-46 cm) from the edge of the plant and 3 to 6 feet (0.9-1.8 m) deep [100,111,112,116,147,357]. Blue grama roots may penetrate deeper soil layers , and the maximum rooting depth of blue grama is approximately 6.5 feet (2 m) [82,110,116]. and Blue grama generally requires 8 to 15 inches (203-381 mm) of annual precipitation
It might be, that you already have a good seed bank right there hiding in front of you! I would spread out a one to two inch layer of horse poo, where it is unlikely to get washed away in any rain, and just wait, you might get a whole bunch of good things.