Buffalo grass has re-emerged in recent times to once again become one of Australia's favourite lawn varieties. This new popularity is due entirely to the new Soft Leaf Buffalo cultivars led primarily by the clever marketing strategies and advertising of some of these new buffalo grass brands.
These new varieties have overcome many of the weaknesses of Original Buffalo, where once Buffalo had a very sharp leaf edge and a hard leaf, the new soft leaf varieties have overcome these disadvantages completely. Soft leaf Buffaloes today provide for a luscious soft green lawn, which is soft to walk and play on, has better wear resistance, and when looked after correctly - can provide a beautiful lawn which can compete on looks with any other variety of grass.
Soft Leaf Buffaloes continue their earlier heritage with a very wide leaf blade, now with their sharp edges gone. The different strains can offer differing leaf blade widths, so if this is a factor then a little research can provide a suitable cultivar for individual needs and preferences.
One of the greatest advantages for Buffalo lawns is their wide leaf blade which can absorb far more light for photosynthesis than other grasses such as Couch which has a very slim leaf blade. This allows Buffalo grass to survive with much less direct sunlight than other grasses, which makes Soft Leaf Buffaloes one the first choices for homeowners whose lawns may not get adequate sunlight through the day, or whose lawns may be subject to higher levels of shade.
While the shade tolerance of Soft Leaf Buffaloes are excellent, it is also important to remember that all lawns, including Buffalo, require some direct sunlight every day. There really is no room for compromise on this, so if your lawn area is subject to shade for the most part of the day, then a lawn may not be a suitable option for the area at all.
Buffalo grass has historically always been known as a shade grass, which means that this grass type is best suited for being grown in shaded conditions, as opposed to being grown in full sun. The reasons for this is that Buffalo grass will always develop far more thatch - at a quicker rate of growth when grown in full sun. Whereas when Buffalo is grown in partial shade - the thatch is considerably less severe, as well as this thatch grows as a far slower rate than if grown in full sun.
Buffalo lawns do require a different fertilising regime than most other grasses. There are a few specialised fertilisers which are blended for Buffalo requirements, but these are still difficult to find and can often be overly expensive. However these special requirement can often be overcome with Iron supplements which can be purchased from gardening stores, to be used alongside other quality fertilisers.
The wide leaf blade of Buffalo grass attracts many weed poisons which are formulated to attach to the wide leaf blades of most weed types, as a result Buffalo can often be damaged or killed by the use of many weed killers.
Always ensure the labels of herbicides are read carefully prior to purchase and use on Buffalo lawns. Most herbicides will specifically mention whether they are safe or not safe for use on Buffalo grass.
There are now some very specific herbicides which have been formulated for use on Buffaloes, such as Yates Buffalo Pro if at all possible these should be sought out first.
Read our article how to kill weeds in Buffalo lawns.
There are a lot of different buffalo grass brands for sale in Australia today. All make claims as to their strengths etc, and there is a lot of excessive marketing around at least some of these grasses - which just leads to more confusion for the new lawn buyer.
The Buffalo Lawn Care Site has trawled through reams of scientific data to provide Australia's most comprehensive Buffalo grass comparisons ever published. With these new reviews - choosing a new buffalo lawn is not so difficult any more.
Briefly, of the most popular Buffalo brands for sale today:
- Palmetto is the highest quality and lowest maintenance
- Sapphire is the most shade tolerant
- Matilda is the most wear resistant and fastest to recover
- Sir Walter is a good quality all round buffalo grass
For full reviews of Buffalo grass brands - see the Buffalo Lawn Care Site's - Ultimate Buffalo Grass Review for much more detailed information on all the Buffalo Grass brands available in Australia today.