Buffalo Lawn Grass

11 Dec 2011 Comments 2

STENOTAPHRUM SECUNDATUM also known as BUFFALO as a lawn grass


S.SECUNDATUM is one of the species of STENOTAPHRUM.

It is essentially a tropical grass occurring in coastal areas throughout the world. Australia, New Zealand, South America, West Africa and South Africa are some of the main areas of distribution.


Since the beginning of the century, S SECUNDATUM from the Western Cape has been used as lawn grass. A morphologically distinct sub-group of the S.SECUNDATUM was originally confined to the Cape of Good Hope region. In America, it is known as St Augustine grass. In Australia and South Africa, it is known as Buffalo Grass. A variegated form of buffalo grass does exist. Buffalo grass occurs naturally along our East Coast, from the Cape Peninsula eastwards to Natal, and extends further growing on sand dunes and in the vicinity of damp places.


The grass tolerates a wide range of soil types and is best suited as a lawn grass to the coastal and relatively frost free regions.


Like any other lawn grass, Buffalo will benefit from thorough preparation with a good quality COMPOST in the area to be established under the lawn. Sods, plugs or runners may be used. Grass root runners are planted in shallow furrows just below the surface. The method of planting plugs (rooted grass plants) is very success full. One polystyrene tray of +/- 120 Buffalo (rooted) plugs covers about 8 m3 area.


After planting, water thoroughly and thereafter keep the newly planted area damp. Once the grass shows signs of growth, a nitrogenous fertilizer may be applied. Or apply LAWN DRESSING to level and feed the area.


Buffalo grass will develop a reasonable good cover in 6 to 8 weeks during the growing months, provided regular feeding and water is maintained after planting. Buffalo develops a thick mat and although rather coarse in texture it is hard wearing.


It tolerates a fair amount of shade however it needs sunlight to grow properly (Photosynthesis). and is therefore not shade loving.


To keep Buffalo lawn looking at its best, regular watering, and cutting (not too short) is required. Regular feeding with Top-Up or 3:1:5 is required, I prefer to alternate these fertilizers with 2:3:2 use 25 to 50 gram per square meter.


Should you need to boost the growth, feed with a nitrogenous fertilizer such as Ammonium Nitrate use 25 to 50 grams per m2 lawn area on limey soils or L.A.N (Lime Ammonium Nitrate) on acid soils.


Organic fertilizers such as Bounce back can also be applied.

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  • Barry Oram

    Please tell me at what frequency regular watering of Buffalon grass should occur (once established) e.g. each day every 3 days... and how many mm on water each time. I have sand soil

    December 29, 2011 at 09:25am
    • Peter Vink

      Take a look at my blog post "Watering Lawns"

      March 16, 2012 at 17:34pm