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What is Sir Walter Buffalo Grass? (+ Pros & Cons)

Sir Walter buffalo grass is one the most popular turf varieties used around the country since its introduction in 1997.

Are you looking at installing a new lawn area in your garden? If so, you might be at the stage of deciding which grass is best for your needs and the area you live.

In this article, I’m going to answer all the questions that you might have about Sir Walter Buffalo Grass to help you decide if this is the right option for your home.

What is buffalo grass?

It might surprise you to learn that buffalo grass is native to Australia and has been used for turf for many years. This grass variety is exceptionally drought-tolerant and can handle both hot and cold conditions.

It’s a warm-season grass which means that it puts on all of its growth in the warmer months and is usually dormant in winter. 

When you take a close look at buffalo grass, you’ll notice that it has a much broader leaf blade than other common turf varieties. 

What is Sir Walter buffalo grass?

Sir Walter buffalo grass is one the most popular turf varieties used around the country since its introduction in 1997.

It’s DNA certified and has been bred to be much softer than regular buffalo grass. This also makes it low-allergenic.

Its exceptional qualities include that it’s highly drought-tolerant, frost-tolerant, hard-wearing, and quick to repair. Plus, it stays nice and green all summer long without requiring copious amounts of water.

What does DNA certified mean?

When turf is DNA certified, it means that it is a genuine turf that is genetically pure and meets the highest standards. The DNA certification is issued by Lawn Solutions Australia. 

Because Sir Walter buffalo grass is DNA certified, it comes with a 10-year turf warranty.

When you purchase authentic Sir Walter buffalo grass, you should receive a Certificate of Authenticity that has a gold and black stamp on it with an original breeder guarantee.

Sir Walter buffalo pros and cons

Sir Walter buffalo grass has many advantages and very few disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons of Sir Walter buffalo grass:

Pros

  • Drought tolerant
  • Frost tolerant
  • Can tolerate both hot and cold conditions
  • Quick repairing
  • Non-invasive as it’s a surface creeper
  • Hard wearing
  • Shade tolerant
  • Dormant in winter but mostly retains its deep green colour
  • Weed-resistant thanks to its dense growth
  • Good pest resistance
  • Low allergenic
  • Moderately salt tolerant

Cons

  • Due to its fast growth in summer, it will need mowing weekly
  • Will need to be watered if there’s been no rain for a couple of weeks
  • Can produce a lot of thatch when grown in full sun

Sir Walter vs other buffalo varieties

The primary difference between Sir Walter buffalo grass and standard buffalo grass varieties is that Sir Walter has been specifically bred to be soft to the touch. Regular buffalo grass had a reputation for being quite coarse and itchy when walked on with bare feet. 

The reason for the coarseness was that the broad leaf blades had tiny jagged edges that would be impossible to see with the naked eye. However, in Sir Walter, the edges have been smoothed out, making this variety a much softer grass with no irritability.

In saying that, other buffalo varieties have been bred in Australia that are similarly soft to the touch. One of these is Sapphire Buffalo. This variety has a finer leaf blade than Sir Buffalo and is slightly more shade-tolerant.

On the other hand, Sir Walter is a faster growing lawn grass than Sapphire Buffalo so it will require more frequent mowing. However, this also makes Sir Walter faster at self-repairing. 

Another new buffalo grass variety is Prestige Buffalo. This variety has the same exceptional qualities as Sir Walter but it will tolerate slightly more shade. Prestige only requires around 3 to 4 hours of sunlight daily.

Prestige buffalo is also quicker to recover after long periods of dry weather, even though both varieties are highly drought-tolerant. Prestige also produces less thatch than Sir Walter and has a deep green colour even in winter.

How much does Sir Walter buffalo grass cost?

You can expect to pay between $12 to $20 per square metre for Sir Walter buffalo grass depending on where you buy it. The average price is around $16 per square metre.

FAQ

Can you overseed Sir Walter?

No, Sir Walter buffalo grass produces sterile seeds so it cannot be grown from seed.

How long does Sir Walter Buffalo take to establish?

Generally, if you follow all the directions for laying Sir Walter Buffalo turf, it should take around two to four weeks for the grass to establish deep roots.

Does Buffalo grass brown off in winter?

Because buffalo grass goes dormant in winter, it can have a tendency to brown off. However, if you apply some fertiliser in late autumn, you can help to maintain its deep green colour.

Can you over water Sir Walter?

It is possible to overwater Sir Walter buffalo grass. This can result in excessive growth, root rot, and other fungal diseases.

Will buffalo grass take over Kikuyu?

Unfortunately, because Kikuyu is such an aggressive and invasive species, buffalo grass can not compete and take over Kikuyu.

How do you prepare for Sir Walter Buffalo?

Preparing for Sir Walter Buffalo is fairly easy. You just need to loosen up the soil, remove any stones, rocks, or other debris and level the area to create a nice even turf. You can also spread some fertiliser in order to give your new lawn a head start.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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