Originally, buffalo turf, or grass, grew wild on the expansive prairies of the United States. Aside from feeding millions of buffalo, the thick, matted turf provided the basis for sod homes for the early settlers, who cut out patches and used them for building. While the variety of buffalo turf used along the Central Coast in Australia is a similar variety, it’s still slightly different to the American variety. However, it maintains the same qualities that make it so desirable for today’s landscaping, such as drought- and heat-tolerance.
As a perennial grass, buffalo turf delights homeowners with its low maintenance and low water usage. The new varieties grow within 6 to 8 inches and have smaller visible seeds to make a more attractive turf. However, many varieties of buffalo grass do not thrive in wetter environments, making it a poor choice for regions with abundant rainfall.
Every buffalo turf variety spreads by the production of stolons, which are the visible stems that grow out just above the ground and take root by the nodes to create new plants. Moreover, the grass is dioecious, which means the flowers are both male and female. With its characteristic blue-green and grey-green hue, buffalo grass makes an excellent ground cover for hill sides and large lawns.
Benefits of Buffalo Turf
- Low Fertilisation Requirements: Buffalo grass needs only a minimum amount of fertilisation. Mature lawns need only one to 1 kilogram of nitrogen per 93 sqaure metres annually. Other grass varieties can take as much as 2 to 3 kilograms of nitrogen per year.
- Water Conservation: Buffalo turf is highly drought resistant and can survive a dry summer by going dormant only to quickly revive as soon as it receives moisture. To maintain a green lawn throughout the summer months, use consistent irrigation.
- Low Growing: Buffalo turf ranges between 8 to 20 centimetres in height, reducing the need for frequent mowing.
- Fewer Insect Infestations: Very few insects take up residence in buffalo turf, reducing the need for insecticides.
Disadvantages of Buffalo Turf
Although hardy, buffalo grass has some minor disadvantages to consider:
- Seed and sod can be expensive.
- The turf does not thrive in wet environments.
- Shorter growing season than other grasses.
The primary disadvantage is that the range of adaptation can be limited. The grass hails from the drier regions of the Great Plains area of the United States and thrives in similar conditions. However, if you need a hardy grass in a dry climate, buffalo turf makes a superior choice. For more information about this turn, contact Mardi Park Turf.