With its soft, wide leaf, buffalo grass is durable and easy to grow. There are many buffalo varieties that will tolerate shade and high foot traffic.
To find out which buffalo grass is right for you, get in touch with your local turf supplier for a recommendation and more information.
Why choose buffalo?
Modern breeding of buffalo turf has seen the previous, rougher buffalo varieties replaced with new, soft leaf varieties that are perfect for the Aussie backyard. Even with their soft leaf, they are still a durable grass that is tolerant to wear and tear and perfect for heavy traffic.
Buffalo is a warm season grass. The buffalo varieties have the unique characteristic of being both being able to handle full sun, and in many varieties up to 70 per cent shade. Buffalo is a resilient variety, being drought and salt tolerant, but also having the ability to retain its colour well over the winter period, making it a great choice for different climatic regions in Australia.
Generally, the soft leaf buffalo grasses have a slow to medium growth rate, depending on the type. Buffalo is also not as invasive as some of the other varieties on the rest of the garden, and so are typically a low maintenance lawn.
Due to the tendency of low leaf buffalo to have thick dense leaf growth, there is likelihood of invasion of weeds. The best form of weed control is a well-mown and well-fed lawn. If you do feel the need to spray weeds, use only buffalo specific herbicide. Sprays that do not specify they are suitable for buffalo can damage your lawn.
How often to mow
Generally about once every 5-10 days in summer, and 3-6 weeks in winter, depending on the type of buffalo. However it is important to avoid mowing the grass too low. When mowing, it’s important not to trim more than a third off the leaf at any time.
How often to water
Frequent light watering of 10-15 minutes once a week is usually enough in summer, with less watering required in winter. Use your best judgement as to the moisture in your soil and adjust watering times up or down as required. It’s a good idea to water deeply rather than frequently.
When to fertilise
Soft leaf buffalo lawns will look best with regular supply of nutrients throughout the year. Depending on the location and health of the lawn, fertilising is recommended every four months. However, if the lawn is looking a little unhealthy, fertilising frequency should be increased. Apply a quality lawn fertiliser in autumn, spring and summer, and switch to a winter fertiliser for the winter season.
A word on weeds
Buffalo lawns require products that are specifically suited to their lawn type. It is very important to select herbicides that state they are suitable for buffalo lawns. If you are unsure, consult a lawn care specialist at your local nursery.