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The Lawn Guide
Lawn Care - Buffalo Grass
Soft Leaf Buffalo Lawn

Soft Leaf Buffalo Grass

Once upon a time, Buffalo lawn was widely used and most lovingly referred to as Ol' Scratchy, due to its coarse and sharp leaf blades. These days, times have changed dramatically for the better for this well loved favourite lawn grass in Australia.

Most buffalo grasses sold today are Soft Leaf Buffalo Varieties, most of us know them by their brand names of Sapphire, Matilda, Sir Walter, Palmetto, Shademaster, ST Varieties and more.

These new buffalo lawn variants are a vast improvement over the days of old, these new grasses are soft, able to withstand wear and tear, and they have the best shade tolerance amongst almost every other lawn type - at around 70% shade tolerance.

These new soft Buffalo grasses also have low invasive properties as opposed to lawn types such as Couch or Kikuyu grasses, and can be an excellent all round choices for Australian homes today.

Soft leaf buffalo grasses respond and grow well in sandy, lightly salty, or alkaline soils, they thrive in full sun as well being one of the best choices for partial shade tolerance.

Buffalo lawn is a warm season grass which has above ground runners (stolons), but has no underground runner (rhizomes).


Lawn Mowing Buffalo Grass

Lawn mowing heights for the new soft Buffalo grass lawns should be higher than for other turf varieties, typically a height of 30 - 65 mm is desirable to maintain a healthy buffalo lawn. Mowing heights should be increased in shaded areas to ensure a longer leaf blade which can absorb more sunlight and stay healthy in environments of diminished light. And likewise lawn mowing buffalo grass in full sun can easily have these mowing heights lowered.

Soft leaf buffalo lawn responds well to mowing with either a cylinder or rotary mower with good results expected from each.


Sir Walter - Palmetto - Shademaster - Sapphire - What's the difference?

There are many names for the new soft leaf buffalo varieties which can lead to confusion for homeowners as to the benefits or differences between each, and which one may be the right choice for their homes.

While all buffalo grasses belong to the same family and are in the same type, each name signifies a difference in the breeding which has occurred between each brand. The difference in names is defining these breeding differences.

There are many reviews which outline the different strengths and weaknesses of these different buffalo grasses, some on The Lawn Guide, and some on other other sites such as The Buffalo Lawn Care Site and the The Buffalo Grass Review Site

Lawn Care Soft Buffalo Grass
Soft Leaf Buffalo Lawn

Weed Spraying Warning:

Any application of weed killers, especially those meant for Broadleaf weeds, may damage or kill Buffalo grass. This is because the same principle that works to selectively attach the poison to the broad leaf of some weeds, acts in the same manner with the broad leaf blades of Buffalo Grass. This is also true for most forms of Weed and Feed type poisons.

Herbicides containing the active ingredients of Bromoxyl or MCPA are generally considered safe for Buffalo grass. Whereas herbicides containing Dicamba should always be avoided for use on Buffalo lawns. If in doubt, always check the label for safe use on Buffalo grass.

Also if in further doubt, test your herbicide in a small inconspicuous area of the lawn two weeks prior to any other application. Alternatively, hire a professional Weed Sprayer who is licensed and guarantees all lawn spraying work, it's well worth it.



Leaf Type

Type

Aggressiveness

Traffic Tolerance

Sun Requirements

Shade Tolerance

Salt Tolerance

Ideal pH



Botanical Name

Also Know As

Varieties
Fine | Medium | Coarse

Warm Season | Cool Season

Low | Medium | High

Low | Medium | High

Low | Medium | High

Poor | Good | Excellent

Poor | Good | Excellent

5.5 - 6.5



Stenotaphrum secundatum

St. Augustine

Sapphire, Sir Walter, Palmetto, Shademaster, ST26, Matilda, Original Buffalo, many other names




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Different lawn types available in Australia, including independent and unbiased reviews of popular brands of turf for sale in Australia today
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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

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