Browse the Site
Quick Links to the Reviews
Buffalo Lawn Care
Important...Read this before buying a new Buffalo Lawn
Thatch is the most important trait when buying a Buffalo turf
By Todd Layt
Traditional Buffalo turf grass from the 1970's and Shade Master Buffalo from the 1990's have something in common, they thatch badly. They become spongy, and have maintenance problems. The excessive thatch scalps badly, leaving brown marks, and a thatchy lawn becomes old and tired, being more difficult to mow, having poor winter colour, and slow spring green up. The lawn often then becomes old and requires regular rejuvenation.
Enter, Sir Walter, Palmetto® Stenotaphrum secundatum 'SS100' PBR and Sapphire® Stenotaphrum secundatum 'B12' PBR. All three grasses have low thatch levels. People have enjoyed the benefits of these low thatch grasses for over a decade. 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 made faster growing Buffalo types, but with this faster growth comes thatch problems. These types of lawns, although great on the farm as they are ready for sale quickly, leave customers with tired old lawns just 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 should only be used if good thatch management is in place. Yearly top dressing, or dethatching will do this well. There are benefits of the super-fast growing Buffalo lawns, for example good wear tolerance, but the advantages are rapidly lost if thatch is not managed. In a home lawn, thatch is generally not managed well, so it is probably easier to get a low thatch Buffalo.
So the advice is to stick to the original low thatch types of Buffalo turf grass; Palmetto®, Sapphire® and Sir Walter. Why people have bred new types with high thatch is difficult to understand, but unfortunately you will not know till two years down the track, after your new lawn becomes so thick and difficult to mow. So be careful and only buy a low thatch lawn type.