Lawn Care
everything for lawn care all in one place
providing dependable & original lawn tips since 2008
The Lawn Guide
Buffalo Lawn Thatch
Buffalo Lawn Thatch

'New Content'

When purchasing a new lawn, you may not consider thatch build up the most important aspect. That is possibly because the top three Buffalo varieties in Australia are all low thatch types, and common Kikuyu and Kenda®Kikuyu are also low thatch. Everyone assumes that all new Buffalo and Kikuyu types will be low thatch, but unfortunately even some of the new ones do not have low thatch. So be very careful when purchasing a new Buffalo or Kikuyu lawn and make sure it is low thatch.

The previous owner of this website clearly showed the importance of thatch, but as high thatch types are becoming more popular, we felt it was important to again highlight the importance of this characteristic, as well as list the popular low thatch turf grasses.

In colder climates such as Melbourne and Canberra, higher thatch lawns are less problematic, but in most of Australia, where mild winters dominate, and long hot periods are the norm, thatch can be a real issue for grass.

Zoysia types in Australia were always high thatch, that is until new low thatch types became available and now low thatch Zoysia types, such as Empire™Zoysia japonica 'SS500' PBR and Nara™Zoysia macrantha 'MAC03' PBR, have really gained popularity. Grasses like Zoysia tenufolia and Zoysia matrella, although available, never really took off due to high levels of thatch. Empress, the sister grass of Empire™, never became popular due to high thatch levels. So for now the most popular Zoysia lawns are low thatch, but we expect as the popularity of Zoysia continues to grow, higher thatch types will be released.

For now choosing a low thatch Zoysia is easy, as they are the main types sold. That will probably change in the future as more matrella types are released.

Traditional scratchy Buffalo from the 1970's and Shade Master Buffalo of the 1990's have something in common, they both thatch really badly. They become spongy, and have maintenance problems. The excessive thatch scalps badly leaving brown dead looking patches. A Buffalo lawn with high thatch often becomes old and tired, being difficult to mow, and can be slow to green up in periods of seasonal change.

Sir Walter, Palmetto® and Sapphire® are all low thatch varieties, and the turf industry has become complacent about thatch in Buffalo, as the good types no longer have a problem. None of the new popular types have kept this trend alive, so for now you can only rely on the three original improved types of Buffalo to be low thatch. People have relished the benefits of these low thatch grasses since the early 2000’s. All have their advantages, like Sapphire® being number one for shade, Palmetto® being low maintenance, and Sir Walter being a good all-rounder.

New breeding has produced very quick growing Buffalo types, but with this fast growth comes more thatch problems. These type of lawns although great for the turf farmer as they are ready for sale quickly, leave customers with tired old lawns a couple of years down the track.

So the original better breeds of Buffalo are still the best for general home lawns. Palmetto®, Sapphire® and Sir Walter. The new types of fast growing Buffalo types should only be used if good thatch management is in place. Each two years either top dressing, or dethatching is important for these faster growing Buffalo types. There are benefits of the super-fast growing Buffalo Lawns (eg; Good Wear tolerance), but the advantages are lost quickly if thatch is not managed. Unfortunately, most people do not have time for all this extra maintenance, so it simply makes more sense to buy a low thatch Buffalo type.

Of all the popular Buffalo types, only Palmetto®, Sapphire® and Sir Walter are actually low thatch. Some of the new ones to hit the market, the fast speed of growth may help with wear, but after they thatch badly, they no longer have those benefits. Worse the spongy habit makes mowing hard, and greatly reduces performance. Unfortunately a lot of the Buffalo testing in research highlighted on this site was only for a relatively short time. So although they may do well in wear and drought tolerance tests short term, there is no research to show how they compare to low thatch varieties that have been proven over the test of time. As Buffalo lawns age, thatch is the main issue, so to keep it safe, it is recommended to choose from low thatch types, as your first important criteria.

On sporting fields with high maintenance, thatch becomes simply a maintenance issue. But on a home lawns, thatch management is far more important, as mowing frequencies are much less. For this reason low thatch Kikuyu types are really important. Generally common Kikuyu is low thatch, as too is Kenda®Kikuyu.

Couch lawns are generally low thatch, but Santa Ana is definitely a high thatch variety. It’s main market is in Melbourne, where thatch levels are easier to control. It is not popular in Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane. If you live in these type of climates, really consider thatch as the main buying criteria, if you want a lawn that will thrive for many years.

Please note: Where 'New Content' is written at the top of an article this content has been added by the new owners of this website. If 'New Content' is not written, the information is from the previous site owner.





All content original and copyright
The Lawn Guide
Lawn Care Tips
you may also like one of
these lawn care articles...
General Lawn Care
IMAGE
Fertilisers are food for lawns The Role Of Lawn Fertilisers We see...
IMAGE
How Much Lawn Fertiliser The Role Of Lawn Fertilisers Lawn...
IMAGE
Regular lawn mowing Regular Lawn Mowing When lawns are mown at the...
Lawn Repair
IMAGE
Lawn Top Dressing Reasons For Top Dressing Lawns Top dressing lawns...
IMAGE
Top Dressing Uneven Lawns The Problem Of Uneven Lawns Uneven lawns...
IMAGE
What Is Soil pH Soil pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity in our...
Lawn Watering
IMAGE
Watering too often Excessive Watering Of Lawns When we talk about...
IMAGE
When to water lawns Water Requirements For Lawns Generally speaking,...
IMAGE
When is the best time to water lawns Correct Lawn Watering Times...
Lawn Mowing
IMAGE
Raise Mowing Heights For Soft Buffalo Lawns One of the biggest...
IMAGE
Long periods between mowing shouldbe avoided to maintain good lawn...
IMAGE
'New Content' By Kate Wall When it comes time to buy a mower we can...
Weeds | Pests | Diseases
IMAGE
'New Content' By Kate Wall All herbicides will be more effective in...
IMAGE
Crabgrass How To Kill Crowsfoot Grass / Crabgrass Crabgrass is of...
IMAGE
Anatomy of Canadian Fleabane How To Kill Canadian Fleabane Canadian...
Lawn Varieties
IMAGE
Kikuyu Lawn Characteristics of Kikuyu Grass Kikuyu grass has been...
IMAGE
Saltene Grass Characteristics of Saltene Grass Saltene lawn is a bit...
IMAGE
Cool season lawns are mowed higher Introduction To Cool Season Lawns...
THE LAWN GUIDE ©


Lawn care covers everything to do with maintenance of lawns, including seasonal lawn care, lawn fertilising, lawn clippings, seeding & more
independent lawn care tips for australian lawns

Lawn Care Facts
Lawn Fact:
The short list of the most shade tolerant lawn varieties for homeowners:

1. Durban Grass
2. Soft Leaf Buffalo
3. Zoysia

Professional lawn care videos sharing quality lawn care tips in an easy video format - click to watch
correct lawn watering and fertilising video
meanings to the most common terms
used in lawn care practices in australia
Lawn Care Expert
Respected Australian turf and plant breeder Todd Layt shares expert lawn care advice with lawn lovers
LINK TO THE LAWN GUIDE
Grab this image and link to Australia's original & favourite source of quality lawn care tips
THE BUFFALO LAWN CARE SITE
Lawn care tips for Australia's favourite shade grass
Organic lawn care advice to create environmental benefit from our lawns
IMAGE
Kill clover without pesticides Clover Is A Sign Of A Lawn In Trouble When Clover begins taking...
IMAGE
Low toxic natural methods to control ants Control Ants In The Lawn, Garden and Paving Ants can...
IMAGE
Borax Ant Killer Recipe This method of ant control creates a mixture of a few ingredients...
A low maintenance and environmentally friendly lawn for all warmer regions
IMAGE
Zoysia Tenuifolia - A Very Different Lawn Zoysia tenuifolia is very different from all other...
IMAGE
The best regions to grow Zoysia Where Can I Grow Zoysia In Australia Zoysia grass does its...
IMAGE
Zoysia Grass Has Warm Origins Zoysia grasses all derive from warm and often tropical regions,...
Lawn care discussions and observations in a friendly blog format from The Lawn Guide
IMAGE
This is a media summary for the independent research which we reference on The Lawn Guide,...
IMAGE
Lawns Are The Greatest Carbon Cleaners We should all have confidence in our lawns, knowing...
IMAGE
As many people who have visited The Lawn Guide over the years, and since our first launch in...

Lawn Care Topics
the lawn guide ~ australia's leading source of quality lawn care information