Life Style

Ultimate Buffalo Turf Guide

Buffalo grass is remarkably unique as it is the only grass range native to Australia and is one of the most common warm-season grass varieties.

Naturally, buffalo is a wild grass and was considered a weed in many states but upholds a vital role in pastures used by grazing animals. The desirability of buffalo grass as a lawn grass was brought to light due to its superior drought tolerance and cold tolerance compared to other warm-season grasses.

Being an ideal all-around choice, buffalo grass is perfect for Australian homes. But don’t just take our word for it; here are four features that make buffalo turf the first choice for many new homeowners for many years.

Shade Tolerance

Due to their broadleaf, which encapsulates more sunlight, buffalo grasses are the most shade tolerant warm season lawn types within Australia. They keep weeds out because of their density, and the grass blocks the sunlight from weeds and outperforms them for nutrients and water. The best shade tolerant buffalo can expect to tolerate between 60% to 70% shade levels.

Keep in mind that all types of buffalo grass and many other turf varieties need at least a few hours of sunlight each day; otherwise, they will undoubtedly die off if a minimal amount of sunlight is not received.

Drought Tolerance

Buffalo is one of the only warm-season grasses that does not brown off in droughts if it is not given any ‘top-up’ of water. Due to the large and deep root system in buffalo grass, they have efficient water consumption and can stay greener for longer during arid conditions. It can endure lengthened periods of little water and start to grow again and regain its colour when water becomes available again.

Wear Tolerance

Deeps roots and fast-growing stolons and runners are a characteristic of buffalo grasses that allows them to recover swiftly from wear. Families with young children and pets can rest assured that the wear tolerance of their buffalo grass can withstand frequent use in their backyards.

Winter Colour

All types of buffalo grass can retain its green colour during the winter season. Winter colour is an essential characteristic for homeowners choosing the perfect grass for their homes. In addition, buffalo grasses have some of the best breeds concerning maintaining their winter colour.

 What are the Most Popular Types of Buffalo Grass?

There are different types of buffalo grass available. New generation buffalo grasses have been bred with soft leaf blades that make the grass softer under the foot. These new ‘soft leaf’ buffalo lawns include Matilda buffalo, Sapphire buffalo and Palmetto buffalo. They are all ideal for most parts within Australia, including most of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, South Australia, and Western Australia.

1. Matilda Buffalo

When completely grown, Matilda Buffalo Grass is a resilient turf species that is drought resistant. It uses less water than other buffalo turf brands and can withstand extreme weather like heat and cold. The shade tolerance of Matilda Buffalo Grass is exceptional, as is its resistance to wear and strain. It has a thin leaf and is one of the softest varieties of buffalo grass.

2. Sapphire Buffalo

Rated as the number one buffalo for shade tolerance in independent Horticulture Innovation and Department of Primary Industry trials, Sapphire buffalo is a must for the softest of summer feelings underfoot. The folding of its lead creates extra softness.

Sapphire buffalo has the added benefit of a more delicate texture and a deep green colour. There is no call for concern about the wear tolerance as this buffalo recovers very well from wear.

3. Palmetto Buffalo

Palmetto is the biggest selling buffalo grass in the world. Offering low maintenance, the new generation Palmetto buffalo requires less watering than all other buffalo types and only needs to be fertilised one to two times a year.

With a striking green colour throughout the year, Palmetto buffalo can outcompete weeds even through autumn and winter seasons in most regions. Palmetto is ideal for families with kids and pets who need turf with excellent wear tolerance. 

Caring for a Buffalo Lawn

Keeping your buffalo grass well maintained makes it look good and appealing and helps preserve the health of your lawn. However, buffalo grass does not require much care and maintenance.

Lawn mowing heights should typically be higher than other grass varieties. For example, a height of 25mm – 50mm in non-shaded is advisable to maintain a healthy lawn. An excellent general guideline is only to remove 1/3 of the grass height when mowing. Mowing heights should be increased to 50mm – 70mm in shaded areas, which allows the lawn to stay healthy with less light.

In addition, ensuring that you keep your lawn and soil hydrated is an essential part of maintaining the health of your lawn. Within 30 minutes of having your new buffalo turn installed, apply at least 20mm – 30mm of water to ensure the soil beneath the grass is saturated. If you have established buffalo grass, it is recommended to shallow water as the roots will only grow as deeply as its most frequent water supply.

Finally, the best grass fertiliser you can use for your buffalo grass is a slow-release fertiliser. It is crucial to fertilise your newly installed turn a month after installation. Once your buffalo grass has been established, apply fertiliser during April and September each year. Avoid over fertilising your lawn in the hot summer months. Over fertilising will cause sudden plant growth, particularly thatch and leaf growth. 

Where can I buy High-Quality Types of Buffalo Turf?

There are many elements to consider when contemplating the different types of buffalo grass as well as the best lawn fertiliser to maintain your lawn. Whether you choose Palmetto Buffalo or Sapphire Buffalo, buying buffalo turf from a local landscape supplier is favourable.