Buffalo Turf Grass FAQs

Below you will find a list of questions that we are frequently asked about Buffalo Turf Grass. If you don't find the question / answer you are looking for, or if you need more detailed information, please drop us an e-mail by visiting the contact us page.

Having trouble deciding which turf to use? Download this PDF for a detailed guide on choosing the right turf: Residential | Commercial

General Turf Questions

Specific Palmetto Questions


Q: Which turf variety should I use?

A: Selection of the suitable turf variety for your situation is a somewhat subjective process. First, you must consider varieties that perform best in your local climate and soil type...there's no sense trying to make a turf variety work in an environment that it wasn't designed for. Secondly, you should look for varieties that combine the overall qualities that are most important to you: aesthetics, maintenance requirements, environmental aspects, etc. For a general guide on which turf is best for your situation, click here (PDF).

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Q: Should I seed or turf my yard?

A: There is a common misconception that seeding is the best way to establish a lawn because it is much less expensive than turfing. In reality, turfing the area turns out to be less expensive over time once costs such as increased maintenance inputs and repair are accounted for. Add to that the instantaneous and finished look you achieve with turf and it's clear to see that turfing the area is preferable in most instances. Here are other points to consider when deciding whether to seed or turf:

  • A professional turf lawn needs no special care because it is a healthy mature lawn when installed, whereas a sprigged or seeded lawn requires years of nurturing to reach maturity. Turf is grown under expert supervision from either top quality seed blends or certified hybrid sprigs. After it has been installed, just water, mow and fertilize your turf lawn as needed and it will remain a healthy, green carpet of grass, requiring very little maintenance.
  • Turf can be installed practically anywhere, even where seeding is impossible or too costly. Turf is often used to stop soil erosion and water pollution on slopes where rain would wash away both seed and soil.
  • Turf establishes itself quickly. In a couple of weeks, it is ready for full use. It creates the perfect surface for lawn games and family outdoor living. With todays various blends of hardy grasses, turf is chosen for parks, golf courses, athletic fields, as well as residential homes and business parks.

Turf has revolutionized the lawn business! Now you can install a turf lawn anytime during the year when the ground can be tilled. There is no need to wait for the "right" season to establish your lawn.

  • Turf is the only way to go from bare soil to lush, green lawn in just hours. Yet, it is relatively inexpensive to use. In the few hours it takes to install your turf lawn, your property value increases significantly and even more in aesthetic value.
  • With todays ecological concerns, many more people are considering turf for its environmental benefits. Turf cools and cleans the atmosphere by reflecting the sun's heat and absorbing noises, carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. It releases valuable oxygen and moisture into the air we breathe. As it grows, turf silently contributes to a healthier environment.
  • Today we expect convenience, efficiency and quality in our products. Buildings are going up almost overnight and attractive landscaping is installed in hours. Why wait one or two years for a new lawn to struggle to maturity when you can have a beautiful turf lawn complimenting your buildings right now. That high quality turf lawn can be conveniently installed in hours, at a surprisingly low cost.

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Q: Can I buy your turf varieties in seeded form?

A: Since all of our current turf varieties are vegetatively reproduced, they are not sold in the form of seed. There are other turf varieties that are sold as seed, but to date, no warm season buffalo has shown adequate performance. Click Here to see why

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Q: Are your turf varieties sold in Viro-Cell lawn?

A: Yes. You can purchase all of our turf varieties in Viro-Cell Lawn. For more information on Viro-Cell Lawn or to find a Viro-Cell Lawn stockist selling in your area, please click here www.ozbreed.com.au.

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Q: What is Viro-Cell Lawn?

A: Viro-Cell Lawns are plastic trays that hold 108 seedlings (25mm x 25mm x 62mm) of pre-rooted turf seedlings. These seedlings, or Viro-Cells, are primarily installed into lawns for repair and renovation work but can also be used to start a new lawn. Viro-Cell Lawn has many benefits and may be just what you need to accomplish your goals. For more information on Viro-cell lawn or to find a Viro-Cell Lawn stockist selling in your area, please click here www.ozbreed.com.au.

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Q: Will Ozbreed's turf varieties work in my city / state?

A: Ozbreed's turf varieties are "warm season" grasses. As such, they will generally thrive in all regions of Australia. For more detailed information about what will work for your area, contact your local grower.

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Q: How does Ozbreed control the quality of their turf?

A: Ozbreed has developed a quality control program designed to ensure that only high quality, genetically pure, competitively priced Ozbreed turf varieties are grown. Highlights of this program include a rigorous licensing process that identifies only quality and service-oriented growers, multiple suppliers to most geographic regions ensuring adequate supply at competitive prices, genetically pure planting stock material (identifiable by DNA banding and physical characteristics) that originates from approved sources, quality control stamped invoices, and on-site inspection of licensed growers farms by Ozbreed. This program, along with our participation in several regional certification agency programs, should give consumers an added sense of assurance that the turf variety they are purchasing from a licensed Ozbreed grower is of the highest quality.

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Q: Where can I buy Palmetto Soft Leaf Buffalo?

A: We do not sell our turf varieties directly. Instead, our varieties are sold by licensed growers throughout Australia and overseas. Additionally, our varieties are available in many local retail outlets, nurseries, and garden centres in both turf and Viro-cell lawn. To find a list of licensed growers and suppliers in your area, please visit our where to buy page.

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Q: How much does Palmetto Buffalo Grass cost?

A: The sales price of Palmetto Buffalo Grass is set by our licensed growers and the retailers that sell the varieties. As such, please visit our where to buy page and identify a sales outlet in your area that can supply you with this information.

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Q: Where can I find maintenance information?

A: The latest information concerning mowing, watering, fertilising, and pest and disease control can be found on our turf care pages:

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Q: Will Palmetto work in any shaded area?

A: Palmetto is a shade tolerant cultivar, but the following information must be taken into consideration. Turf in general declines in quality as the degree of light decreases in a given area. Every shade situation is unique unto itself. There is no "cookie cutter" formula to determine if a shaded area will or will not support grass. Details such as degree of shade, elevation of tree branches, type of tree, root invasion, soil type, and maintenance practices are only a few of the variables that must be considered in determining whether or not to attempt to install turf in a shaded area. Detailed shade studies are few and far between, but some promising new studies are now underway.

We believe the best approach is to test a small shaded area using Viro-cell lawn or small amounts of turf before heavily investing into a large area. Palmetto is one of the most shade tolerant grasses in the buffalo family but must have 2-4 hours of sunlight or high filtered light to survive. The best scenario is to have Palmetto installed into a newly landscaped lawn, which permits a gradual adaptation to the shaded environment. Installing Palmetto or any other turf in heavy shade during the hot, humid summer months is recommended only for professionals that understand special measures and techniques used for satisfactory results. It is best to turf shaded areas during cooler months when the stress caused by heat and humidity is minimized. If Palmetto will not survive in your shaded area, consider using some alternative ground cover.

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Q: How do I successfully install / grow Palmetto in shade?

A: Prior to installation, prepare the soil appropriately (see installation tips). The grass must be freshly cut, delivered promptly, and placed within 36 hours of cutting. During the hotter summer months, installation should occur within 24 hours or less when possible. Palmetto is a dense cultivar of Soft leaf buffalo that must be given special attention during hot weather. The temperatures on the pallet can easily reach 130 degrees which will "cook the grass" if not cooled or placed immediately. Slight yellowing is normal when placing turf during summer conditions, but deep yellowing or browning indicates older grass which may not recover from transplanting. Cutting, shipping, and placing turf must be more carefully coordinated during the hotter months of summer.

Initial establishment is the most critical stage. The turf has been produced in full sun, had its roots cut off, and is being placed in an different environment! Water the turf for 1 hour upon installation. After that, water one to three times a week, depending on the amount of shade, type of soil, drainage, etc. Shaded areas require less moisture than sunny locations. DO NOT KEEP THE GRASS SATURATED WITH WATER! It is better to allow the turf to wilt slightly than to overwater.

The grass should put down new roots within a week to fourteen days. If no new roots are showing and/or if you are seeing brown spots in your lawn, apply a fungicide and call your supplier or lawn care expert immediately. A fungicide containing the base chemical Daconil 2787 may be applied topically to aid in reducing leaf spot during the re-establishment period. For more serious problems, systemic fungicides such as Banner (Immunox), Cleary's 3336 (Thiophate), or Bayleton (Fung-away) may be used. Time is of the essence!

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Q: How do I water my shaded lawn?

A: Once turf is established, shaded areas continue to require less water than full sun areas. Again, a fungicide may be needed during hot rainy periods when the grass blades remain moist for prolonged periods to reduce grey leaf spot and brown patch. For an established shaded lawn, a good rule of thumb for watering is to allow the grass to wilt slightly, apply up to, but no more than 2.5cm of water; only water again when there is more wilt. There are occasions when spot watering will be necessary.

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Q: When is the best time to plant Palmetto?

A: Generally, Palmetto Soft Leaf Buffalo does very well when planted in spring or autumn. During these times, the stresses on turf from heat, humidity, cold, etc., are low and the plant has the best chance of recovering quickly from the shock of transplantation. It is important to note that although spring and autumn are the best times, Palmetto is planted throughout the year with great success.

One note of warning: if you wish to plant Palmetto in the hottest summer months (January-February) and you live in a very hot - humid area, please consider a precautionary fungicide application immediately after the turf is installed. This step is preventative in nature but is recommended, especially if you are installing your Palmetto into a shaded setting, due to the combination of stresses and the amount of water applied to the grass to assist in re-establishment. These conditions are very conducive to disease formation and should be addressed prior to any problems arising. This step is recommended for the installation of all turf varieties subject to these stresses, not just Palmetto.

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Q: Is Palmetto salt tolerant?

A: Palmetto can be used effectively in situations that present limited salt exposure. Palmetto performs very well in waterfront applications that receive overwash and spray from salt waters such as homes on barrier islands, beach fronts, and bay fronts. Caution should be used, however, when installing Palmetto in areas irrigated with salt contaminated water. Palmetto should never be used in applications where the primary irrigation source is high in salt content (such as sea water).

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