If you own a lawn in Australia, the chances are it is probably a variety of buffalo grass, which is one of the most popular types of lawn around. So today, Colin is going show you the key differences in how to care for your buffalo lawn at home, compared to other common types of lawn like couch or kikuyu.
Buffalo lawns can look a little worse for wear after the cooler winter months.
So, Colin is going to share his tips for mowing, watering, fertilizing, weeding and renovation to get your grass at home looking thick, lush and deep green again. Soft leaved buffalo lawns are waterwise, hard wearing and ideal for family gardens with kids and pets, plus they can be used in areas that would be too shady to grow a couch lawn.
Buffalo grass should be mown at between 20-60mm high every 1-2 weeks during spring, summer and autumn. It is best to remove the clippings wherever possible to reduce the build-up of thatch. During the cooler winter months, mowing every 3-6 weeks is usually sufficient, and you can leave the grass a little longer.
Buffalo should only need watering once or twice per week even in the hotter summer months, and not at all during the cooler winter weather. A good deep sprinkler soaking for 20-25 minutes will encourage a deeper root system and make your lawn more tolerant of drought.
When renovating buffalo, the aim is to remove the build-up of dead grass or thatch that forms a spongy layer and decreases the infiltration of water and nutrients into the soil causing unsightly brown patches. Traditionally on couch and kikuyu lawns you would scalp the lawn back with a mower right down to soil level, but as buffalo mainly spreads by stolons, you need leave it a little longer and always above the soil level to ensure good regrowth.
On smaller lawn areas, you can vigorously rake the surface with a spring tine rake to remove more of the thatch. On larger areas, you can hire a vertimower to make the job easier, plus you will get a better result and it’s a little easier on the body. This will remove an amazing amount of thatch that will need to be raked up. An easy way to clean up the thatch from your lawn, is to mow the area again two to three times in different directions, to pick up all up.
Like most lawns, if your home lawn is compacted from cars, animals, the kids or sport it may also need spiking or coring. On small areas you can aerate the soil with a garden fork. Push the fork fully into the soil, and then rock it in a back and forth motion and then pull it out. For bigger lawns, you can also hire a spiking or coring machine to make it much quicker and easier.
Because Buffalo lawns can be more prone to the build-up of thatch, it makes sense to apply Everydrop Wetting Agent or Lawn Builder Plus Wetting Agent to help the nutrients get past the thatch and down into the root zone.
Scotts Everydrop Wetting Agent hose-on saves water and promotes strong deep roots by allowing the water to be absorbed down into the root zone in water repellent soils. Scotts Lawn Builder and Everydrop are available at Bunnings stores throughout Australia and you can find out more at lovethegarden.com.au