As a followup to yesterday’s post on bufflegrass, which is ravaging the Sonoran desert, I checked in with my buffelgrass expert on the question I posed about whether bufflegrass has made its way into New Mexico.
The answer is that it is not cold-tolerant, so we haven’t seen it here much. But a group of researchers at Texas A&M and elsewhere have developed “frio”, a cultivar of buffelgrass that is more cold tolerant:
(I)t has more winter hardiness than any commercially available cultivars and will expand the area where buffelgrass can be grown in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico and will reduce the risk of damage from cold weather in areas where buffelgrass is presently grown.
The question of whether this is a good idea is left as an exercise for the reader.
last I was there, the Sonoran desert gets pretty damn cold at night in winter. are we talking an elevation effect?
The average overnight January minimum in Tucson is 40 F. The average Jan. overnight min in Las Cruces, essentially southernmost New Mexico, is 31.5. Colder here. Tucson’s something like 2400 feet elevation, Las Cruces is near 4000.
And the head of the Burpee seed was just bloviating about not wanting to restrict what he can sell…there goes an easy opportunity for voluntary cooperation.