Buffalo grass pros and cons are numerous and contrasting, which makes deciding about keeping this grass a bit confusing. It is a type of grass that likes to grow well in hotter regions and has the prettiest blue-green color.
It has a lot of positive and negative aspects, like being super expensive and able to withstand both heat and cold. Discover all these pros and cons in this explosive tell-all guide.
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- Pros of Buffalo Grass
- Cons of Buffalo Grass
Pros of Buffalo Grass
Buffalo grass pros are tolerating drought, and being heat and cold resistant. It is one that requires little mowing, and has low fertilizer needs, and can be established by seeds, plugs and sods. It is a soft grass to walk on, just as it is friendly for pets.
Moreover, remember that this is one of the most popular turf grass that grows well in the hotter regions and has many pros over other grasses. Buffalo grass benefits include being tolerant to both heat and cold as well as conditions of drought.
– Tolerates Drought Well
Almost all experts put Buffalo at the top among all drought tolerant grass species. When it comes to watering, most other grass lawns need to be watered one inch deep into the soil every week to stay healthy. In addition to this, remember that this is the type of grass that stays lush even with half an inch of regular watering every week.
Being a graminaceous plant with the lowest water demand makes it the most environmentally friendly turf grass. Even if you cannot water it for a couple of weeks, it will retain its blue-green color and not turn yellow or brown. Its long roots often compensate for the lack of proper watering by absorbing water from the soil.
However, persistent drought conditions for more than four weeks lead to the grass blades turning yellow and dormant. Even so, it takes just one to two thorough watering sessions to bring this grass out of dormancy and back to vibrancy.
– Both Heat And Cold Resistant
This is a classic warm-growing grass germinating and growing during the hotter times of the year. It is one of the most sought-after grass types in the hot, southern states of the year, where the temperatures are just right enough for them. In addition, the Buffalo grass seeds only germinate when the soil temperature exceeds 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air temperature exceeds 65 degrees, which is a good range, and when it is provided, you will see successful progress.
This is why this is one of the most heat-resistant grass species. Even during days when the temperature is near 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun exceptionally bright, this grass stays green and vibrant. Some of its cultivars, like sir Walter’s grass from Australia, are especially good at surviving heat without burning up.
Another major pro point is that this grass, despite being a warm season type, can also survive mild winters. Several weeks of low temperatures in the winter cause it to become dormant without dying. As the temperatures rise in the spring, the grass turns back to its vibrant green color.
– Required Little Mowing
Unlike most grass types, the Buffalo can survive at numerous blade heights per your personal needs, which means that the variation is not one that would bother you. To maintain the best-quality turf, the ideal grass height is kept at one to two inches long, because it will be in its ideal texture. Due to the latter, this is a fast-growing type of grass, maintaining it at one to two inches requires weekly mowing.
Luckily for those who cannot take the time out for weekly mowing sessions, you can keep this grass at three to four inches. This way, you will get to mow it only once every three to four weeks. This is not the healthiest height for the roots of this grass, but you still get to maintain a fairly decent turf.
Like all warm-season grasses, this one sees a boost in its growth during the peak months of summer. This is the only time you will need to mow it regularly every other week. Once its growth slows down for the rest of the year, you will only have to spend a little time mowing your buffalo turf.
– Low Fertilizer Needs
The only time you need to properly fertilize your lawn while growing buffalo grass is during spring. Besides that, it has a very low need for regular fertilizing, and you save a lot of time on lawn care.
We recommend extensive soil supplementation before sowing grass seeds for this grass, because this is how you would want it to establish in a healthy way. Which means that you must remember how the new seeds of this grass need a balanced quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to germinate fully and establish a lawn.
A well-balanced grass fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 at the start of the growing season or at the time of reseeding is sure to go a long way and last all year long. If you want to, you can add a small amount of organic fertilizer periodically to keep the grass well-fed.
– Established By Seeds, Plugs, Or Sod
Don’t you like preparing the soil, spreading seeds, and then waiting for them to germinate? We understand that this process can be exhausting and sometimes fail to be successful in the end. One of the best buffalo grass advantages is that it can be easily installed and grown on the lawn using any method possible.
If you choose to grow it by sowing its seeds at the beginning of summer, most seeds will germinate despite minimum lawn care. If you decide to get sods and plugs installed in your lawn, they will also adapt quickly to the soil. Only a few grass varieties can quickly compete with this one when growing a thick turf.
– Soft Grass To Walk On
It is very annoying when the thick grass growing in your backyard is coarse and feels rough to bare skin. We all want to grow grass that looks lush and fine and feels super soft when walked upon. This is where this grass is at a great advantage because it is one of the softest varieties out there.
If it has been growing under full sun and proper watering, its naturally fine texture will become enhanced. Another thing to remember is that this grass cut at the height of two inches is softer than that kept at taller heights.
– Not Toxic for Pets
This is not a grass that is toxic for pet dogs if they chew on it accidentally, however, dogs generally do not like to chew on and ingest grass blades as they are canines. In addition to this, remember that because it is a soft grass to walk on, your pets will appreciate the texture.
On the other hand, even if your dog chews on this grass occasionally, you can rest assured that there will be no risk of toxicity. You do not have to panic and rush your pet dog to the vet immediately after ingestion.
– Easy To Maintain For Beginners
This grass is quite easy to maintain, even for beginners who have never grown this grass before. The good thing is that it requires much less frequent mowing and fertilizing. You will have to spend excessive time weeding out this grass, though. On the bright side, it is quite simple from the way to germinate them to the way that they aren’t fussy and will accept all conditions, and won’t drive you anxious with their requirements for mowing.
Cons of Buffalo Grass
The cons of Buffalo grass is that it is quite expensive, and they will need a lot of weed removal due to its growth. Moreover, it is one that is not so good for heavy foot trafficking, and it will not tolerate shade, as well as accidental dog urination.
– An Expensive Grass
Given this grass’s many benefits, it is no wonder it costs much more than any other ordinary turf grass. We need to talk about the long-term maintenance costs here. Just buying premium-quality buffalo seeds will cost you a lot of money. These days the price of a pound of seeds is around $40 to $50.
Buffalo grass sod is naturally going to be much more expensive than seeds. The softest and lush sods of this grass can cost as much as $15 per square meter, which is on the medium range of the price of a grass. Additionally, if you are to hire professionals to install sod on the lawn, then the cost goes up further. Even plugs of this grass cost an astronomical amount of $60 to $70 per plug.
However, an aspect that you must consider is the average maintenance cost for this grass for an average-sized house. Weed control is a regular part of growing this turf grass, and you will have to spend a lot on herbicides and uprooting weeds. Because it easily gets damaged even by moderate foot traffic, you will have to carry out frequent reseeding, which will also cost a lot.
– Will Need A Lot of Weed Removal
The growth pattern of this grass tends to make it prone to getting invaded by weeds and other invasive grass species. It takes several growing seasons to become dense enough to resist being overtaken by weeds.
For the first few years of keeping a buffalo lawn, you will encounter many bald patches with very thin grass. This is a normal process, because the grass will go through a rough start until it finds itself and grows even further by the years.
This grass grows by horizontally growing stolons that tend to run along the ground and are not dense enough. When the soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit, use a selective herbicide against weed growth in the upcoming season. Every time you take your mower out for a trim, look for weeds growing between grass patches and take them out by hand, this may be odd for you if you are a beginner, but you will get used to it.
The most annoying thing is that the weeds do not stop growing even late in the year when this grass begins to go dormant. Dormant grass is thinner and succumbs much more easily to invasive weeds. Trust us; no one likes to carry out weed eradication during fall and winter.
– Not So Good With Foot Traffic
One of the biggest cons of the popular sir Walters buffalo grass is that it needs to be more traffic tolerant. This could be more pleasant, considering how soft and luxurious this grass feels on bare skin. Unfortunately, you cannot let your kids play soccer in it or hold a large barbecue party on this lawn.
As we mentioned, it is already a thin growing grass easily damaged by people walking over it. Forget people; even pets playing around and randomly peeing on this grass damages it extensively. Additional care tips include not dragging heavy equipment or furniture on the turf grass. Which means that you should not place a playground around it for your kids because jumping and running around would damage it.
The longer you tend to keep the grass blades, the more easily they will get damaged. This means that if you mow the lawn less frequently, it is more likely to die with foot traffic.
– Not Shade Tolerant
Buffalo grass needs eight to nine hours of sunlight daily to keep it growing. This is the bare minimum amount of light to keep a decent-looking lawn. People who live in bright and sunny towns are lucky because they do not have to worry about providing the best light for their lawns, but if your place sees indirect light, this will be a great challenge because they may not thrive.
This grass is so sensitive to light needs that even if a small patch of the lawn is under some shade, bald patches will begin to appear in it. The grass in these areas quickly turns yellow and succumbs to weed infestation. If you are serious about keeping a buffalo lawn, then overseed the shaded areas with a shade-loving species like tall fescue.
– Does Not Tolerate Dog Urine
Just like all other grass species, this grass, too, is unable to survive concentrated dog urine. Dog urine is acidic and contains a high concentration of ammonia and uric acid. It seeps down into the soil and causes direct burns to the roots.
The affected patch of buffalo grass inevitably turns yellow or brown after burning. That is why you must immediately dilute the urine whenever and wherever a dog pees on it.
Before you can go and buy seeds for buffalo grass, here is a summary of our guide.
- This grass needs only half an inch of water in the soil and can go without water without dormancy for several weeks.
- You can keep this grass at a longer height of three to four inches by mowing it less frequently.
- Once your turf grass has been established, you can even go without fertilizing it frequently.
- Unfortunately, this grass does not react well to shade; consequently, it begins to thin out and become attacked by weeds.
- Do not allow people to walk over this grass too much because it gets damaged easily and does not heal properly.
Now that you know what some major pros and cons of this gorgeous grass are, you will be in a better position to make a purchase decision. Keep your commitments and your town’s weather in mind before giving this grass a green signal. Check out the differences between the Buffalo and the Bermuda grass!