Buffalo grass is one of the most common lawn varieties seen across Australia. It will grow almost anywhere, from cold and wet Tasmania to hot and humid Queensland. In terms of a low-maintenance, high-reward turf variety, it doesn’t get much better than the hardy buffalo. Its hard-wearing nature makes it perfect for playgrounds and golf courses where the heavy traffic doesn’t bother it, and the ease of growing it makes it a popular choice for many a backyard.
Despite the fact that it’s almost impossible to kill your buffalo grass lawn, your lawn isn’t immune to some common problems found in any lawn’s lifetime. Pest invasions, spots, and weed infestations happen to the best of lawns. Here’s how you can manage these problems to get your turf back to A1 condition.
Dollar Spot in your Buffalo Lawn
Dollar spot is the name given to a fungal problem in your lawn which causes little round patches of discoloured leaves. It’s particularly common in spring and autumn and can easily be avoided and treated.
The best cure is prevention when it comes to dollar spot. This condition is usually caused by lack of nutrients and excess moisture in the soil. Maintaining good lawn care habits, including not overwatering your lawn and regularly fertilising, will prevent dollar spot. If you find your lawn with these spots, though, don’t despair. A simple round of fungicide can cure the problem.
Army Worm Infestations in Your Buffalo Lawn
Army worm is an unfortunately common pest in any lawn type. Diagnosing an army worm infestation can be a bit tricky, as these little critters hide under the soil during the day and only come out at night to nibble at your turf. If you’ve got irregular brown patches forming over your lawn in a short space of time, it might be army worm. Go out at night with a bright torch and inspect your leaves. If you find the little caterpillars (they’re not actually worms), get yourself some insecticide immediately.
Make sure you apply the insecticide just before night time (and according to manufacturer’s instructions) to ensure that the caterpillars will ingest it. You may need to repeat the insecticide application a couple of times.
Ridding Your Buffalo Lawn of Ants
Ants are common visitors to the Australian backyard. When their numbers get out of control they can not only be annoying to kids, pets, and the entire household, but their nests can cause damage to your lawn and the soil.
You’ve got two options – killing the ants or repelling them. You can kill them with ant dusts or liquids, which are poisons which will kill the ants and their nests relatively quickly, or, you can opt for a natural ant killer. Simply adding borax, sugar, and water and placing small bottle caps of it near the nests will result in ants eating this mix and dying. If you don’t like the idea of killing ants but instead would just like to encourage them to move on, you can use a variety of types of ant repellents. Just be aware that they may only move a little bit further along your yard, or worse: into your house.
Controlling Weeds in Your Buffalo Lawn
There are a variety of types of weeds which may make themselves at home in your buffalo grass lawn. There’s also a variety of weed killers to control these weeds. The trick is not only to choose the right herbicide, it’s to choose one which won’t also kill your buffalo grass. Buffalo is susceptible to many herbicides, but there’s specific options for your buffalo grass turf. Talk to your local lawn specialist about which you should choose.
For best results, fertilise your lawn three to seven days before you apply the herbicide and make sure it’s properly watered into the turf. Don’t apply too much herbicide – it won’t kill the weeds more, it’ll just serve to damage your buffalo grass. Once it’s applied, avoid watering your lawn for another three to seven days. It’s also advisable to wait two or three weeks before applying another round of weed killer, and if you feel like two applications still isn’t enough to kill all of the weeds, you may need to look at choosing another fertiliser.