Growing Buffalo Grass from Seed
Growing Buffalo Grass from seed is notoriously difficult even under the best conditions. Buffalo grass is one of Australia’s most popular lawn varieties thanks to its versatility and hardiness so it’s hardly surprising, given the Aussie can do attitude, that people want to try growing it themselves.
But the reality is that even professional Buffalo turf farmers don’t grow Buffalo grass from seed. We are recognised producers and suppliers of Australia’s most highly regarded turf varieties including drought tolerant Sir Walter DNA certified Buffalo and we produce Buffalo turf from live plant material. This is the most effective way of ensuring purity of plant genetic lines.
What follows is an explanation that will help you understand why growing Buffalo grass from seed is such a bad idea. But we also give you a few tips if you’re still determined to give it a go.
Buffalo Seed—It’s All Puff & Bull
Most commercially available Buffalo grass produces male sterile seed. Quite simply it won’t grow. Some commercial operators sell Buffalo seed but it’s usually a mix of seed. These mixes probably contain as little as 50% Buffalo seed, the remainder usually being a Rye grass or something similar.
Even with these seed mixes the vendors might promise a germination rate as high as 80% but that’s under ideal planting and growing conditions. You will get some grass to grow but it won’t be a genuine Buffalo lawn and it won’t have those wonderful characteristics that make Buffalo lawns so great such as drought and wear and tear tolerance or the ability to cope with both full sun and shade.
While it’s true that sowing seed might appear to be a budget option the reality is that with poor germination rates, birds devouring large quantities of your precious seed and the vagaries of the weather you’re unlikely to get a very consistent grass cover.
A Buffalo lawn grown from seed also requires an enormous time and energy commitment as you need to prepare the ground carefully and ensure you follow a careful watering regime.
Germination will usually require about 3 to 4 weeks during which time you won’t be able to use your yard. Even under best conditions you’ll probably need to do a repeat sowing to get any half decent coverage.
With our Sir Walter DNA certified Buffalo you’re getting a readymade lawn with guaranteed performance from day 1. Why beat about the bush (or the grass)? Life is too precious.
So You Still Want To Sow?
If you still want to grow Buffalo grass from seed here are a few tips. Preparation and timing are key to success with sowing seed.
Step 1: Choose the right time to sow your seed. Buffalo grass is one of the warm season grasses so seed will need warm temperatures to germinate. Late spring is usually the best time. Temperatures of 25 degrees plus and from 6 to 8 hours of sunshine a day provide the ideal germinating and growing conditions.
Step 2: Prepare the ground carefully. Get rid of any weeds that will quickly take over the bare soil while your seed thinks about germinating. It will probably be best to use a general purpose herbicide.
Step 3: Choose good quality seed from a reputable supplier. Buying cheap seed that doesn’t deliver a reasonable germination rate is a waste of time and money.
Step 4: Rake the soil: Use a garden rake to create runs for the seed. This will allow the seed to have sufficient soil coverage to trigger germination.
Step 5: Sow the seed: Sprinkle seed evenly across the soil. Plan on using approximately 1kg of seed per 100m2. Once you’ve sown the seed run the rake across the soil perpendicular to the original run lines to ensure all the seed gets some soil coverage.
Step 6: Water every day for 7 days. The idea is to keep the soil moist; don’t drown the seed. In the second week you’ll only need to water every 2nd day. Continue this watering regime until germination occurs—usually about 21 days later. In ideal conditions you might have a full lawn after 3 months.
As a certified supplier of all Lawn Solutions Australia turf varieties, Grech’s Turf can install your instant Buffalo turf quickly and easily. Within a few weeks the turf will have bedded in and you’ll have a spectacular new lawn that will last for many years to come.
We make having a new lawn so much easier. It will probably work out to be more cost effective when compared to the challenges of sowing Buffalo grass seed and the results—well they’re quite simply guaranteed.
Grech’s Turf and Sir Walter Buffalo DNA certified instant turf—it’s instant lawn and instant satisfaction.