I’m trying to get a new Buffalo grass lawn up and running while spending the least amount of money. I told you can’t buy Buffalo grass seed, should I plant with Buffalo runners instead?
It’s true that you cannot buy Buffalo grass seed. This is mainly due to the fact that it is a very poor performer when propagating from seed and will return an almost zero growth rate. So the next best option to start a new Buffalo lawn cheaply will be to grow it from runners, and this is exactly how the big turf farmers grow their Buffalo too.
Planting Buffalo grass lawn tips
To start a new Buffalo grass lawn from stolons (runners), you’ll first need to study up on Buffalo to find the best Buffalo type for you. In Australia, the clear winner as the best Buffalo grass lawn is Palmetto! Easily beating all other Buffalo grasses for quality and low maintenance (only need to mow periodically with a with a manual push mower), except in the heaviest shade, where Sapphire is the best grass type.
Once a Buffalo type is chosen, buy the roll on turf from the turf farm and break it up into smaller sections which will then be planted apart from each other in your new lawn area. Spreading out the roll will substantially lower the cost of establishing your new Buffalo grass lawn. However, this cost saving will be tempered by a longer establishment time.
In theory you could grow a new lawn from very little new grass, but this will take a very long time to allow the Buffalo grass runners to spread to create the new lawn, so best not to go too skimpy on this initial purchase. Measuring the new lawn area, a very good cost saving would be to reduce 75% of the turf area and only buy and plant 25% of what would be required to cover the area.
I have found it best not to break up the rolls of turf into individual Buffalo grass runners, as this is extremely time consuming while reducing the success of the new lawn. Instead, use a strong serrated knife to cut up the roll on turf in thinner strips or squares of Buffalo sod.
These turf sections are then planted into the prepared soil so the green leaf is slightly above the surrounding soil level. Be sure to keep the new Buffalo runners or sections moist for the entirety of their establishment period until new roots are established. After which, return to a normal watering schedule (and mowing schedule with a mower also), allow the Buffalo grass to slowly keep spreading to become your new lawn.
Just be aware that this method will take a long time to establish a new Buffalo grass lawn! Be prepared to have a patchy lawn for a long part of the growing season through the warmer months while establishment occurs. Regular application of lawn fertilizer will also greatly aid in the establishment times and success rate of this method. Just be sure never to over-fertilize, as this can cause lawn damage, heavy wastage, and leaching of fertilizer into the environment.