Due to massive advertising and marketing campaigns, Sir Walter has become a popular Buffalo grass in Australia as a result. Sir Walter is a true Soft Leaf Buffalo grass, which when mowed regularly and properly, and when good lawn care practices are followed, can produce a nice looking Soft Buffalo lawn. It has a wide leaf blade which is characteristic of most Buffalo grass types.
Sir Walter is a derivative of the old Shademaster Buffalo, and was found to be displaying different characteristics from other Shademaster around it on a NSW turf farm. This new Shademaster was then later sold and marketed with the all new brand name of Sir Walter.
Overall, Sir Walter is a good quality Soft Leaf Buffalo grass, it has a wide dark green coloured broad leaf which is similar in width to old Common Buffalo, but which will often lose it's depth of colour over Winter like many other grass types can.
In order to be maintained properly and remain looking it's best, Sir Walter and other Buffalo grasses will require a constant year round fertilising program in order to remain in it's best condition.
Sir Walter is a genuine Soft Leaf Buffalo which has been studied in Microscopic Photos where it was proven to be a low barbed Buffalo, and therefore a soft Buffalo grass. See these amazing Buffalo pictures here.
Like other Soft Leaf Buffalo lawn types, Sir Walter has a deep root system which allows it to tolerate drought conditions quite well, although it cannot tolerate drought as well as a Couch lawn or Zoysia lawn can.
Compared to other Soft Leaf Buffaloes, Sir Walter will brown off at a slightly slower rate once the lawn begins to experience drought or low water conditions from water restrictions, which is a good trait.
However, once drought conditions finish, Sir Walter is one of the slowest of the Buffalo grass types to recover and green up again.
Like all the Soft Leaf Buffalo grasses, Sir Walter Buffalo has good shade tolerance capabilities, which can be a factor in choosing Sir Walter if some shade will be present on the new lawn. However, if the homeowner has shade tolerance of a very high concern, and shade is a major reason for looking to purchase Sir Walter, then Sir Walter is not the best Buffalo choice.
The most shade tolerant Soft Leaf Buffalo has been proven by independent research from Horticulture Australia and the Department of Primary Industries Queensland (DPI QLD) studies to be Sapphire Soft Leaf Buffalo, which along with Sir Walter, Matilda and Palmetto, is also one of the better all round quality Soft Buffalo varieties available today.
* note ~ these results represent the entirety of turf study results
Along with other quality Soft Buffaloes like the very closely related Matilda, Sir Walter has good tolerance to weed sprays which are based on the active ingredients of either Bromoxynil or MCP which have been proven to be the safest of all weed control chemicals for use on Buffalo lawns.
Warning: Dicamba based herbicides should never be used on any Buffalo grass, as they can severely damage or even kill Sir Walter and all other Buffalo grass types.
Sir Walter was proven in recent scientific research to be one of the heaviest seeders of the more popular Buffalo varieties tested. Buffalo lawn seed appears as thick stalks or spikes across the lawn, and will appear at least once or twice each year. For most Buffalo lawns, these seed heads are generally not a problem and will disappear within a week or two, but the extra seeding in Sir Walter may concern some people.
Sir Walter will maintain it's best appearance when mowed regularly at heights of between 35 - 45 mm. Sir Walter can be taken as low as 12 mm with a Cylinder or Rotary Mower but will always lose it dark colour and risks invasion from fungus and weeds if it is not thoroughly and properly cared for at these low heights.
These weed and fungal risks are the same for all Buffalo lawn types when they are mowed at very low heights. Remember, Buffalo Grass likes a longer leaf and will always look it's very best, and keep it's best health when proper heights are maintained.
From independent scientific research, Sir Walter was shown to have one of the faster leaf growth rates of all the Soft Buffalo lawn types tested. This allows Sir Walter to be a good grass for small yards which are often enclosed. However this same desirable faster leaf growth for repair will mean that Sir Walter will require more mowing than other Buffalo grasses.
In the same trials, Sir Walter was also shown to have a heavier rate of thatching when compared to other Soft Leaf Buffalo lawns in the trial.