Have you let your lawn go a bit? Have recent rains made a jungle of your normally tidy yard? Letting you lawn get overgrown isn’t ideal, particularly if you have buffalo grass. Severe mowing of a buffalo lawn is high risk; you run the risk of it dying in places or altogether. Now is the time for extra care when mowing to get things back on track.
A warm season variety of grass, buffalo is unique in that while most have both below ground runners (rhizomes) and above ground runners (stolons), they only have stolons. When the lawn grows high, the crowns do too. The crowns are essentially the centre of the plant; remove the crown and the plant will die.
Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia varieties can be mowed quite severely as even with the above ground crowns removed they can recover from those below ground. Buffalo grass is not the same; with the crowns removed it will die in the affected areas and can then only recover from the surrounding healthy lawn areas.
If your buffalo lawn is overgrown, the Daleys Turf team recommend getting it back into shape over a period of time. Lower the mowing heights over time and completed many mowings. This method will reduce the likelihood of the crowns being removed, will retrain the crowns to grow at a lower height and the lawn won’t die. You should expect a small amount of turf to die away and this is unavoidable however, the instances of this should be minimal and easily recovered from.
Your first mow should be at a great height – it won’t look like you have done much at all but it’s a start. The next step is to mow with greater frequency – the longer the time is between mowings, the higher the lawn and the crowns will grow. We recommend lowering the mowing height notch by one every two weeks and mowing every week – so keep the same height for two mowings and then reduce by one notch. Ideally you will do this while the weather is warm and the lawn is still in its growing phase.
To get the lawn back under control you just need to take it slow and mow at regular times to retrain the crowns and eventually you will have a fully recovered, healthy lawn, at a proper height of 35-65mms.