Buffalo Grass Landscaping
Buffalo grass is a hard wearing lawn grass which requires very little attention when compared to other types of lawn grasses. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade and in poor or good soil but of course it will show improved performance when grown in a well prepared and fertilised soil.
Buffalo grass will develop a reasonably good cover in four to five months if planted in spring or early summer. It is fine to plant this grass in autumn or winter but it will obviously be slower growing until the arrival of spring. If runners are to be used then young runners must be used when planting. These re-root very quickly and continue growing rapidly especially if planted in spring and summer.
- Thorough preparation of the soil will ensure faster regrowth and a much healthier lawn.
- Regular feeding, watering and weeding are recommended immediately after planting. Most weeds do not get a chance to grow once the grass has covered your planted area and the amount of water and feeding frequency can then be reduced.
- Runners or plugs must not be planted deeply. About 30mm (1 inch) deep works well.
Preparation of the Soil
Buffalo grass will benefit from thorough preparation of the area
to be established under lawn in the same way that other lawn
All foreign matter such as weeds, roots, bricks and large stones must be removed and the soil must be thoroughly cultivated (dug through with a spade) while applying an inorganic fertiliser such as 2.3.4. at the rate of 60 grams per square metre. Level the area with a straight edge or the back of a rake to ready it for planting after you have completed cultivating it.
Planting Buffalo Grass
The most common method used to plant Buffalo grass is the use of young runners planted in furrows about 30mm deep and 15cm apart but plugs can also be used if they are more readily available. Closer planting will cover the area more quickly. The runners should be laid in the 30mm deep furrows just below the soil level and when covered the foliage should just protrude above the surface of the soil.
Promoting Rapid Early Growth
Water thoroughly after planting and thereafter keep the newly planted grass area damp. Once the grass starts to show clear signs of growth, typically after about six weeks in warmer weather, apply a weak solution of ammonium sulphate with the aid of a watering can for smaller areas or a mix-nozzle if you have to cover a large area. Use about 600 grams per 10 litres of water. This quantity should cover about 100 square metres. This application stimulates growth and can be repeated every three weeks until the area is thickly covered. Keep the area free of weeds until complete cover is achieved. After three months a light application of lawn dressing can be applied so as to level the area in readiness for mowing.
Maintaining Buffalo Grass
While Buffalo grass does not normally need much feeding, it does depend upon the type of soil that you have. A light sandy soil is much poorer in mineral elements than a heavier textured soil. Buffalo grass does respond to being fertilised with 2.3.4 about three to four times per year applied at the rate of 60 grams per square metre. Once established Buffalo grass needs very little water and fertiliser which means that it does not need regular cutting, so cut as and when required. This brilliant grass can save you time and money on maintenance.
Although this grass can be tough and quite coarse, if it is regularly watered and fertilised it becomes much softer to the touch and the leaves become more finely textured. The wonderful thing about Buffalo grass is that it allows you to choose what type of lawn you want it to be and therefore is adaptable to the specific needs of each of your lawn areas.
Buffalo Grass Characteristics
- Buffalo grass develops a thick mat and although it is rather coarse in texture it is hard wearing. It can have a softer texture if kept well watered and fertilised.
- An established Buffalo grass lawn which is not subject to excessive applications of water and fertilizer will not require cutting as regularly as other types of grass.
- Buffalo grass will grow well in light shade and full sun whereas Kikuyu and Fine Quick prefer very sunny situations.
- The cold weather in winter causes Buffalo to lose its dark green colour. When frosted it turns brown but it will soon recover its green colour when fertilised with 3.1.5.(38)
- Buffalo is shallower rooted than other types of grass and is therefore much easier to control.
Buffalo grass has the disadvantage of being slow to establish in the short term but in the long term it has several advantages because it requires very little maintenance in the way of feeding or watering and therefore it requires less cutting and will grow successfully in shadier places. You will benefit from planting a Buffalo lawn but please be patient in the beginning.