Complete guide to Buffalo lawn fertiliser

It doesn’t matter whether you’re fertilising Prestige®, Sapphire®, Palmetto®, or any of the other Buffalo grasses, the requirements for fertilising all Buffalo lawns are almost exactly the same as fertilising any other turf variety. Despite the myths, you do not need to pay more for a special Buffalo grass fertiliser.

The main reason Buffalo lawns lose their colour throughout the year is due to a lack of fertiliser, though other factors may also come into play, such as soil health.

Soft Leaf Buffalo grasses can become extremely pale when lawn fertilising is forgotten or neglected.

Fertilising Soft Leaf Buffalo

We recommend applying a quality lawn fertiliser based on the label’s application rates in the following months:

  • September
  • November
  • January
  • March

Switch to a quality winter fertiliser for the following months:

  • May
  • July

These fertilising schedules are suitable for standard grade lawn fertilisers.

Fertiliser Application Rates

It is important that you know what sort of grass you have before selecting a fertiliser. Always apply quality lawn fertiliser based on the label’s recommendations.

Liquid fertilisers

Liquid fertilisers have the benefit of being able to be applied to both the ground or to the lawn foliage itself, also called foliar application.

Application of liquid fertiliser through the ground will result in the roots absorbing the nutrients.

Application to the lawn allows the leaves to absorb the fertiliser and have the nutrients more readily available for immediate use.

The foliar application gives you the option of making mid-season corrections to add vital nutrients to your lawn if it didn’t get the correct mixture at the beginning of the season or if your lawn needs a boost.

Another main benefit of liquid lawn fertiliser is that it can be easily administered to the largest of lawns in a liquid form and absorbed, not only by the lawn foliage itself but also by the surrounding soil.

This is of great value to lawn care and while liquid fertiliser is commonly more expensive it can be more effective!

Again, the best fertiliser for your lawn is one that contains the nutrients your soil needs.

One of the advantages of using a liquid lawn fertilizer is that you can easily mix in any other nutrients your lawn and soil needs.

Whether you mix concentrate in a litre sprayer (the less expensive option) or purchase a pre-mixed bottle that attaches to your garden hose, lawn liquid fertiliser is more versatile than granular because you can apply it to the ground or the leaf foliage.

Key features of liquid fertilisers are:

  • Uniform application
  • Quick leaf foliage uptake when green-up is needed
  • Seasonal application variances available
  • Can blend with other liquid products
  • Easy to apply

For a good selection of liquid fertilisers have a look at our online shop.

Slow release fertiliser

Most lawns respond well to a slow release fertiliser which can be found at the myhomeTURF online shop.

Using a slow release fertiliser on your lawn once during autumn before the ground becomes too cold.

Application of your slow release fertiliser should occur during late March or early April (when the weather is still warm).

Key features of slow release fertilisers are:

  • The nutrients slowly release and continuously
  • All of the fertiliser’s nutrients are utilised following watering in
  • Use of low application rates (saves money)
  • There is only the need to apply three times during the year (twice in spring and once in autumn)

Another benefit of a slow release fertiliser is that a consistent level of growth and greening occurs across the life of the application with no spike in growth and no nutrient-run off.

It is important not to use cheap slow release fertilisers as these products tend to initially release a lot of nutrients and dwindle off quickly with nutrient delivery, resulting in an initial surge in growth and greening – however, consistent growth will not be maintained.

Traditional lawn fertiliser

Traditional lawn fertiliser is often the cheapest lawn food choice but not necessarily the best.

Key features of traditional lawn fertilisers are:

  • They require high application rates
  • They only supply your lawn with short-term feed
  • They create a crystalline or powdered appearance
  • A spike in growth and greening occurs (rapid initial response which tappers off quickly)
  • They require frequent applications

Traditional fertilisers also tend to dump their nutrient load immediately after watering in which often leads to high nutrient run-off into waterways and drains.

Application rates for traditional fertilisers are every 4 to 6 weeks and rely on the lawn being able to absorb the nutrients as they move through the soil.

However frequent applications of traditional fertiliser can have detrimental effects on the soil chemistry and therefore health.

Organic lawn fertilisers

A ‘true’ organic fertiliser is one that has been certified as 100% organic – so be sure to have that guaranteed when purchasing.

The simplest way to check that it is 100% organic is by looking for the Australian Organic Certified logo on the bottle or pack.

A recommended organic fertiliser is a blend of both natural (organic) and synthetic (manufactured) fertiliser.

Therefore, the use of organic lawn food and soil improver combines the features of both a slow release fertiliser as well as natural ingredients such as seaweed, fish, manure and bio-stimulants.

Since organic fertiliser are natural products it is hard to over-fertiliser and in fact, they make your soil and plant health strong.

As organic fertilisers can be more expensive than other fertilisers it is possible to make your own by composting manure – such as from cattle or chooks.

The best time to apply your organic fertiliser in autumn is either late March or early April.

Another application of organic fertiliser during winter – preferably late June.

Combination products – fertiliser and herbicide

New, unique herbicide formulations are available that when combined with fertilizer offer homeowners the ability to fertilize their lawn and control broadleaf weeds in one application.

Many products exist offering a wide variety of NPK and nitrogen sources to match the specific fertility needs of your lawn.

Types of combination product could include, pre-emergent weed control, post-emergent broadleaf weed control or a combination of both.

One of the most popular combined fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide products is granular Oxafert  which controls Summer Grass, Crowsfoot Grass, Winter Grass and Creeping Oxalis and offers an efficient NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) application of fertiliser.

Key features of combination products – fertilisers and herbicides are:

  • Combined application of fertiliser and herbicide (pre or post emergent) in one application
  • Saves time
  • Easy to apply by hand, hand or push spreader

Special Note about Fertilising Lawns in January

Fertilising in January is optional. The homeowner should evaluate the health and quality of the Buffalo lawn during this peak growing season. If the turf is in good health and growing at healthy rates, then January fertilising can be skipped.

Watering Lawns after Fertilising

Turf should be watered as soon as possible after fertilising. This is due to the Nitrogen in the fertiliser which can burn the leaf of the turf if left to sit on top of the lawn for too long. This is most evident and most important as the weather begins to heat up. Therefore, the hotter the day, the sooner the fertiliser should be watered into the Buffalo lawn to avoid possible damage to the turf.

Supplementing Iron

Soft Buffalo lawns have a slightly higher Iron requirement, which is a Trace Element that should be found in all quality lawn fertilisers.

Your Buffalo turf will need an Iron supplement with an Iron Chelate, or a trace element supplement at least once a year to help maintain its dark green colour. These products can be purchased online at the myhomeTURF shop.

Recommended Products

LawnPride Maintain 26-2-9 + 3.4 Fe 20kg

For slow release fertilisers, Lawn Pride Maintain 26-2-9 + 3.4 Fe 20kg is one of the most popular granular all-round lawn fertilisers on the market with the active ingredients of Nitrogen (N – 26), Phosphorus (P – 2), Potassium(K – 9) and Iron (Fe – 3.4). Suitable for ZoysiaKikuyuCouch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

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Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert, which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

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LawnPride GroTurf 20kg 15-4-11 + Traces

For traditional lawn fertilisers, LawnPride Groturf 15-4-11 + Traces 20kg is an instant release granular fertiliser designed to initiate rapid growth of your lawn thanks to extra trace elements that build up your soil’s nutrients. Suitable for ZoysiaKikuyuCouch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

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Source:  https://www.myhometurf.com.au/lawn-tips/fertilising-buffalo-lawns/

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