Many homeowners and landscape designers prefer buffalo grass to other types of turfgrass. A native grass in much of the central United States, this perennial grass thrives in many areas and various climates. Buffalo grass displays a high level of tolerance to drought and extreme temperatures. Buffalo grass thrives when correctly planted from seed or sod on prepared sites. Unfortunate, this attractive blue-green grass often suffers damage from pests and nutrient deficiencies. Quickly determining and treating the cause of your unhealthy grass increases its chances of recovery.
Remove invasive weeds from your buffalo grass lawn. The most common cause of damage in this type of grass is the presence of weeds. Apply a glysophate herbicide, such as Round Up, to your lawn while it remains dormant in the early spring. Buffalo grass appears dry and yellow when dormant. Wait until weeds begin to green up and grow to apply this strong herbicide to your dormant grass. This normally occurs between March and early April in most locations. Mix up the herbicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply a light mist to the area of emerging weeds in your dormant lawn. Do not use glysophate on areas containing green buffalo grass.
Apply pesticide to infested areas of buffalo grass. Look for the presence of bugs in your lawn by closely examining individual grass blades near the soil. Use a magnifying glass to spot small light or dark spots near the base of grass blades, indicating the presence of insect eggs. Notice any areas of chewed grass, such as miniscule holes or ragged edges. Revive your lawn by using a broad-spectrum herbicide listed for use on buffalo grass. Pesticides remove existing bugs and eggs from the grass and the soil. Apply the herbicide on a calm day, according to the package instructions.
Feed your buffalo grass lightly in late spring and again in the middle of summer. Apply nitrogen fertilizer at the rate of approximately 1/2 pound to 1,000 square feet of lawn. Evenly distribute granulated fertilizer over the lawn with a seed broadcaster.
Water your buffalo grass lawn every two to four weeks to maintain the green color--while buffalo grass is drought resistant, it survives dry periods by going into dormancy and turning brown. Provide enough water during each application to ensure damp soil around the roots. This type of grass requires 1 to 2 inches of rainfall or supplemental moisture every few weeks to stay green and actively growing. Revive dormant grass by applying additional water after a hot, dry spell.
Remove overhanging foliage. Buffalo grass loves the sun and does not do well in areas that are significantly shaded. Increasing exposure to sun will revive struggling buffalo grass.