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Mowing Buffalo Grass: Top Techniques According to Experts

Are you interested in learning the top techniques for mowing buffalo grass? Our team of experts has gathered the most effective methods. We’re confident that we can guide you to success.

Mowing Buffalo Grass: This is the top technique.

Mow regularly every 8-14 days in summer and every four weeks in winter. Never cut more than 1/3 of the blade length at once. Maintain a mowing height of 1.5-4 inches, raising the height for shady areas or summer drought. Use a sharp rotary mower blade on dry grass.

By Luxure – Own work – CC BY 3.0 au

Keep going to learn the secrets of maintaining a lush buffalo grass lawn. Our experts explain why mowing dry grass with a sharp rotary mower blade is vital. Understand the importance of not cutting more than a third of the blade length at once. There’s more to come!


Lawn Care: How often to mow buffalo grass

Although buffalo grass is not an aggressive grass that creeps quickly into pathways, its runners can still cover the surroundings if left unchecked. There is also an increased risk of weed invasion associated with long buffalo grass. Regular mowing helps the lawn to stay healthy and green.

 As a result of mowing, the grass is forced to use its energy to repair its grass leaves, which were damaged during mowing. This process helps the grass to stay fresh and healthy.

Mowing also reduces all the grass’s efforts to spread, ensuring less grass in garden beds and pathways as all of its energy is used to repair and grow more green leaves. Buffalo grass grows at different speeds depending on the buffalo grass used.

In my two decades of working with grasses, I’ve found that buffalo grass stands out for its resilience. It’s a native North American species that’s adapted to thrive in diverse soil conditions and withstand drought, making it a low-maintenance choice for many homeowners.

• The Impact of Weather Conditions on Mowing Frequency

It also depends on the weather conditions, nutrients in the soil, soil quality, and water available to the grass. But the growing speed doesn’t vary so much that it affects the mowing practice. Generally, the mowing routine remains the same regardless of growth speed.

Never cut more than one-half of the grass in a single mowing session. Frequent mowing ensures the removal of many small weeds before they grow and reproduce. It also controls the thatch build-up and keeps the lawn lush and healthy.

• Water Evaporation from Soil: The Consequence of Short Mowing

A buffalo grass mowed short may result in greater water evaporation from the soil, stress the lawn, and increase water usage. A sharp lawn can also affect lawn health due to a lack of photosynthesis.

On the other hand, maintaining buffalo grass for too long increases the growth rate, and thatch builds up rapidly. So, always find the right balance for your buffalo grass to keep it lush and healthy.

Types of Buffalo Grass

There are three different types of Buffalo grass. Let’s look at their key features.  

● Prestige Buffalo

One of the newest and among the best buffalo grasses in the market. It has a consistent deep green color, is hard-wearing, has good recovery, and has drought tolerance. It is known for its consistent deep green color. It has a shade tolerance of 70% with low to moderate wear and 50 % with high wear.

● Sapphire Buffalo

Sapphire buffalo has thinner leaves than other buffalo grass varieties. It is a low thatch type grass and has a good winter color. The folding of its leaves often protects the grass from frost. It also recovers well and at a much faster speed than other turfgrasses.

● Palmetto Buffalo

Palmetto Buffalo is the most popular buffalo grass in the world, known for its low maintenance and minor watering characteristics.

It is also the best option for families with kids and pets as it is an excellent hard-wearing grass. It’s hard for weeds to invade palmetto buffalo grass due to its dense growth.

Mowing buffalo grass in summer

The growth rate of buffalo grass during summer is as fast as that of warm-season grass. So, frequent mowing of the lawn is required during this period. The recommended mowing height for buffalo grass is 1.5 to 4 inches, depending on the type if you leave the buffalo lawn to grow too long in summer.

It will grow even faster, and when it takes too long, it will significantly increase the mowing time and effort. Mowing long buffalo grass can be extremely difficult as it will produce large and dense clipping, which puts more strain on the engine, particularly if you do not have a powerful lawnmower.

Moreover, allowing buffalo grass to grow long in summer may produce a thick thatch layer, which can cause extensive root damage by drying out the roots. Considering all these things, expect a healthy buffalo lawn to require mowing every 8 to 14 days during the summer.

Common mistakes I’ve observed include mowing too short, not regularly during the growing season, and not properly maintaining the mower. These mistakes can lead to poor grass health and appearance.

Mowing buffalo grass in the fall, winter, and spring

The lawn’s growth rate usually slows down naturally during the late fall, winter, and early spring. Buffalo lawns may look like they are not growing much in colder months. This is because the lawn uses energy to strengthen the thick thatch layer this season instead of producing more green leaves.

The thatch layer protects against significant fluctuations in soil temperature. Adjusting the mowing frequency according to the grass’s growth rate is recommended. Generally, mowing buffalo grass every four weeks during these colder months is preferable.

Leaving lawns for longer than four weeks is not recommended, except maybe during some winter months (depending on your location and winter temperature). Warm-season grasses like zoysia, Bermuda, and Buffalo produce thatch much faster than cool-season grasses.

• The Process of Dethatching Buffalo Grass

The thatch layer only becomes problematic once it gets too thick so that the water and air have trouble getting to the roots of the grass. Dethatching grass can cause a lot of damage to the grass, so it should be done at a time when the grass grows.

So, the grass can fix the damage caused by dethatching before the next dormant period. The best time to dethatch the buffalo grass is late spring or early summer after it starts to grow.

Buffalo Grass Cut Too Short.

Cutting buffalo grass at lower heights can cause problems for the lawn. It will turn the lawn naturally brown or yellow, requiring more fertilizer. Short grass also exposes the turf to direct heat, especially in the summer, which causes it to dry quickly, so it needs more water.

Cutting too short can make the grass unhealthy. When buffalo grass is cut too short, it develops its thatch layer faster and thicker, especially when it grows in the full sun. Mowing too low will also make the grass more susceptible to pest invasion and diseases.

• Effects of Short-Cutting on Shade Tolerance

The grass may lose its shade tolerance due to a lack of green leaves. Cutting too short also inhibits root growth. Mowing too fast reduces the surface area of the leaves, which is where the grass makes food.

The grass then relies on the roots, which weaken them, and your lawn finds it challenging to endure drought or heavy rain.

Buffalo Grass Left Too Long

Tall buffalo grass looks less attractive as its blades grow with arbitrary and irregular heights, adding to your lawn’s inconsistent appearance. Growing buffalo grass too long is also not advisable as it makes it difficult for the grass to hold itself up, and it drops on the surrounding grass, suffocating it.

Long grass also traps moisture in the lower areas, making the lawn prone to fungus and other diseases. This can result in the grass growing unevenly, making your lawn look rough. There is also a high chance that the grass may turn yellow or brown.

In my 20 years of mowing buffalo grass, I’ve found that maintaining a height of about 2-3 inches is ideal. This height promotes a deep root system and enhances the grass’s ability to resist drought.

• Effects of Not Mowing Buffalo Grass

Not mowing for a long time may cause the grass to go to seeds whose blades look more like weeds than grass. Long grass may overwhelm your mower and dull your mower’s blades when you try to mow it after an extended time.

Clippings left behind after mowing the longer grass are also longer and difficult to manage. Longer grass clippings often sit on the top of the lawn and are difficult to remove.

Moreover, longer clippings block the turfgrass’s sunlight, affecting its health. During regular mowing, the short clippings easily fall on the ground, where they decompose and add nutrients to the soil.

Mowing height and photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is when green plants use sunlight to synthesize carbon dioxide and water nutrients. The lawn’s growth rate is impacted by how long the leaves of grass are or at what height it is cut. When grass is cut too short, the leaves’ surface area is reduced. You reduce the part where the grass makes food.

A grass mowed too low has fewer leaves available for photosynthesis, which damages the grass. Longer leaves mean a fast-growing and repairing lawn, while shorter leaves mean a slow-growing lawn. Most problems with soft-leaf buffalo grass lawns arise because lawns are mowed too low.

Buffalo grasses like Palmetto have longer leaves, and it is preferred to mow them at a greater height than average compared to other warm-season grasses.

Shade tolerance and mowing height of Buffalo grass

Mowing heights also vary depending on the shade available for your lawn. Most people choose buffalo grass for its shade tolerance. It has more shade tolerance due to its broadleafs, which catch more sunlight and photosynthesize better than other grasses.

Sapphire buffalo grass has thinner leaves than Sir Walter buffalo grass and most other buffalo varieties, but it is slightly more shade tolerant than Sir Walter buffalo. Generally, buffalo grass can survive easily with as little as 3 hours of sunlight daily.

No lawn grass varieties can survive with less sunlight than this. So, if you choose buffalo grass for its shade tolerance and your lawn is planted in an area of high shade, you will have to increase the mowing heights in the shaded parts of the lawn. This will allow the leaves to trap more sunlight during their exposure to the sun and conduct photosynthesis for their survival.

Mowing Tips for Buffalo Grass

Below are some of the best Buffalo grass-mowing tips to help you achieve a lush green turf for your lawn.

  • Too short: If you have been mowing your buffalo grass too short, immediately increase its mowing height.
  • Rotary mower: Use a rotary mower instead of a cylindrical mower.
  • Lower in spring: Cut the buffalo grass to a lower cutting range to remove dead winter blades.
  • Higher in summer: During drought summer conditions, reduce the stress on your lawn by raising your blade to the upper cutting range.
  • Mow regularly: Mow the lawn regularly and always follow the one-third rule while mowing the lawn.
  • Sharp blade: Use a sharp knife while mowing the lawn.
  • Mow when dry: Always mow the lawn when the grass is dry.
  • Even cut: Don’t mow the grass to keep it shorter, but trim it to make the grass even.

Frequently Asked Questions:

• What’s the ideal mowing height for shaded buffalo grass areas?

In heavily shaded areas, increase the mowing height to allow the leaves to capture more sunlight for photosynthesis.

• When is the best time to dethatch a buffalo grass lawn?

The best time is late spring or early summer when active growth resumes after winter dormancy.

• What happens if buffalo grass is allowed to grow too tall before mowing?

Long grass can mat down, trap moisture-promoting disease, produce excessive clippings, and look unsightly.

• Is using a rotary or cylindrical mower on buffalo grass better?

A rotary mower is recommended over a cylindrical mower for buffalo grass lawns.

• Should buffalo grass be mowed when wet or dry?

It’s best to mow buffalo grass dry for a cleaner cut and to prevent ruts.


Buffalo grass, including the sapphire soft-leaf buffalo, is a low-maintenance grass that requires less mowing, fertilizing, and watering than most other turfgrasses. It is highly shaded and drought tolerant due to its large and deep root system.

This deep root system and its fast-growing stolons also enable them to recover quickly from wear. The growth rates of buffalo grass are generally slower, contributing to its low maintenance.

However, regular lawn mowing will significantly encourage lawn growth and keep your lawn looking green and healthy. The green leaf blades can grow back more quickly from mowing, ensuring a free lawn of brown patches. It is essential to use the recommended mowing height while cutting the grass.

• Seasonal Adjustments to Mowing Height

Otherwise, it may become unhealthy over a period. The Recommended mowing height range for buffalo grass is 1.5 to 4 inches. You may increase the mowing height to upper limits during winter and vice versa.

This winter mowing practice will ensure the lawn will stay healthy throughout the year. Mowing no more than one-third of the grass blade at single mowing is the general rule that must be considered while mowing buffalo lawns.

This practice and buffalo lawn care will significantly contribute to maintaining a healthy buffalo lawn. Remember, lawn mowing every four weeks will dramatically encourage the growth of the green leaf blades, giving you more green leaf coverage and a healthier lawn.

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  1. Stanley Steeves says:

    Can buffalo grass be easily maintained by homeowners?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Maintaining buffalo grass is easy for homeowners, requiring less mowing, watering, and fertilizing. Be sure to find the right mowing height to keep your lawn healthy and green. Happy mowing!

  2. Justin Mccoy says:

    The article has provided a comprehensive guide to maintaining buffalo grass lawns.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Justin! I’m glad you found the article helpful in maintaining your Buffalo grass lawn. Don’t forget to keep that mowing height balanced for a healthy and lush turf!

  3. Lydia Gibson says:

    The section about the types of buffalo grass was very informative.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Lydia! I’m glad you found the information on the types of buffalo grass helpful. Stay tuned for more lawn care tips and advice on the blog!

  4. Rachel Steeves says:

    Would buffalo grass be a good option for a lawn with a lot of shade?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Buffalo grass is a good option for shady lawns but be mindful of the mowing height. Keep it between 1.5 to 4 inches for optimal health and avoid cutting too short or too long. Happy mowing!

  5. Steven Larson says:

    How long does it take for buffalo grass to establish in a new lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Buffalo grass typically takes about a year to fully establish in a new lawn. Mowing should be done regularly, never removing more than one-third of the grass in a single session, to help maintain its health and lush appearance.

  6. Sean Phillips says:

    The comparison between Prestige, Sapphire, and Palmetto buffalo grass was helpful.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Sean! I’m glad you found the comparison helpful. Buffalo grass is indeed a great option for a low-maintenance lawn. Let me know if you have any more questions or need further information.

  7. Mathew Clark says:

    What kind of climate is best for buffalo grass to thrive?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Buffalo grass thrives best in warm climates. It requires less mowing, watering, and fertilizing. Maintaining a balanced mowing height of 1.5 to 4 inches is essential for a healthy and lush lawn.

  8. Camila Carr says:

    Is buffalo grass suitable for areas with high foot traffic?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Buffalo grass can handle foot traffic well due to its resilience and hardiness. It is a great option for high traffic areas, as long as it’s mowed at the right height to maintain health and appearance.

  9. Wallace Baker says:

    Are there any specific diseases or pests that commonly affect buffalo grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Buffalo grass is prone to thatch buildup when cut too short or left too long. Mow regularly at a balanced height of 1.5 to 4 inches to maintain a healthy lawn.

  10. Jordan Foster says:

    I had no idea about the impact of mowing height on Photosynthesis in buffalo grass.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Jordan! Keeping the right mowing height for buffalo grass is crucial for its optimal Photosynthesis and overall health. It’s great to hear you found the information on mowing height impact on Photosynthesis helpful.

  11. Terrence Bradley says:

    The video links provided in the article are very useful for visual learners.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Terrence! I’m glad you found the video links helpful for visual learners. Feel free to check out more information on mowing and maintaining Buffalo grass on the blog.

  12. Vicki Chapman says:

    I’m inspired to try buffalo grass for my lawn after reading this article.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad you found the article inspiring, Vicki! Buffalo grass is a great choice for a low-maintenance lawn. Remember to keep the mowing height in check for a healthy and beautiful lawn! Enjoy your gardening journey!

  13. Jessie Campbell says:

    I’ve learned a lot about the benefits and challenges of growing buffalo grass.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      “Thank you, Jessie! Buffalo grass truly has many benefits and challenges to consider. I’m glad you found the information helpful.”

  14. Mae Spencer says:

    Is there a specific type of fertilizer recommended for buffalo grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      For your Buffalo grass, a balanced mowing height between 1.5 to 4 inches is recommended for healthy growth and less maintenance. Fertilizing is only necessary once or twice a year to thrive. Enjoy your lush lawn!

  15. Caleb Powell says:

    I wonder how buffalo grass compares to other types of grass in terms of cost.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Buffalo grass requires less mowing, watering, and fertilizing compared to other grasses, leading to cost savings. Its low maintenance nature makes it a budget-friendly option for lawn care.

  16. Elaine Mcdonalid says:

    The tips for mowing buffalo grass in different seasons are practical and easy to follow.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Elaine, thank you for your feedback on mowing buffalo grass in different seasons. I’m glad you found the tips practical and easy to follow. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  17. Leslie Holmes says:

    Buffalo grass sounds like a great option for low maintenance lawns.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Leslie! Buffalo grass is indeed a great choice for low maintenance lawns. Remember to mow regularly and keep the right height to ensure a healthy and lush lawn. Enjoy your beautiful grass!

  18. Alma Alexander says:

    Great tips for maintaining a buffalo grass lawn, thanks for the information.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Alma! I’m glad you found the tips helpful for maintaining your buffalo grass lawn. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or need further information. Happy gardening!

  19. Vanessa Sanders says:

    I appreciate the details about mowing buffalo grass during different seasons.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Vanessa! I’m glad you found the details helpful. Mowing buffalo grass at the right height is key to maintaining its health and appearance. Happy mowing!

  20. Isaiah Brooks says:

    I didn’t know buffalo grass required less frequent mowing, that’s very helpful.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad you found the information helpful, Isaiah! Buffalo grass is indeed a great choice for a low-maintenance lawn. Remember to adjust the mowing height based on the season for optimal growth.