Prestige Buffalo Vs Sir Walter Buffalo

Prestige Buffalo Vs Sir Walter Buffalo

There is a changing of the guard in Australia’s Buffalo lawn market with the 25 year-old variety Sir Walter being superseded by newer innovations in turf genetics – Prestige is the next generation of soft leaf Buffalo.

Both of these popular Buffalo varieties are from the same family Stenotaphrum secundatum – with one important difference, Prestige is the new grass on the block.

One of the most common questions asked by new lawn buyers is what is the best Buffalo grass for my yard?  Well that obviously depends on your lifestyle and region. But in most cases the ultimate and next generation Buffalo lawn that has been bred for Australian conditions is your best option, and that is Prestige turf.

To help make the decision easier we review these two well-known varieties Sir Walter Buffalo and Prestige turf – and show how the next generation of Buffalo grass is kicking goals for consumers and lovers of lawn.

Prestige Buffalo Grass Layed in Front Yard

One of Prestige turf’s biggest advantages over Sir Walter is that it is much quicker to establish after laying which sees considerable savings in terms of water and cost investment.  Prestige will also climatise to varying conditions when laid giving the consumer security in their investment.
Today, when selecting a new lawn the following features are what most people consider so we will compare them both for Sir Walter and Prestige Buffalo.


  • Shade tolerance
  • Drought tolerance
  • Maintenance/ Low thatch
  • Wear tolerance & hardiness
  • Winter colour
  • Seed head
  • Aesthetic appeal (leaf blade)

Shade tolerance

Buffalo Turf Backyard

When purchasing a new lawn make sure you take into consideration the amount of shade the area will be enduring – full shade, partial shade or full sun?  Compared to Sir Walter Buffalo, Prestige Buffalo grass grows well in full to moderately heavy shade areas and will tolerate up to high shade conditions.
Three to four hours minimum of sunlight each day is recommended for your Prestige turf, at an absolute minimum it must have at least two hours of sun a day.
A tip for keeping your lawn healthy in high shaded areas is to leave it a little longer when mowing so it has more leaf area to absorb the sunlight.

Drought tolerance

As Prestige turf has a large, deep rooted system it is an efficient water user and stays green longer in dry conditions.  While Sir Walter can tolerate drought conditions its recovery time is longer, and it does not bounce back as well as Prestige.
If there is a long period of drought, Prestige turf and Sir Walter will both need watering to survive.
Try not to let the lawn brown-off from drought stress for more than 1 week if possible, as it will take longer to come back.

Low maintenance

Prestige turf is a low thatch variety which means the lawn is less spongy and therefore much healthier. For Sir Walter, as an older variety, thatching can be more of a problem.
When lawns have a high build-up of thatch, new roots may not penetrate as deeply into the soil, making the turf less tolerant of hot and cold conditions – this is not an issue with Prestige Buffalo.
Over a long period of time Prestige Buffalo can still get thatch, particularly if mown very tall or left too long between mowing.
However, Prestige turf will produce less thatch compared to other Buffalo varieties, such as Sir Walter, and can be dethatched if needed.

Wear tolerance

Young Girl Playing on Prestige Buffalo LawnPrestige turf’s fast growth habit means it recovers quickly from wear damage. This means that it can handle the rough and tumble from children and pets.

The fact that Prestige turf has been bred specifically to survive Australia’s tough conditions make it the obvious choice ahead of Sir Walter Buffalo which is 25 years old.

Winter Colour

Colour can be a top priority when choosing turf and Prestige Buffalo is the ultimate choice for lovers of dark green lawn.  While Sir Walter has winter colour it tends to disappear more quickly then Prestige Buffalo and brown off by going into dormancy.  In fact, it has been observed that Prestige is the darkest green Buffalo on the market, and it keeps amazing winter colour.

Note that if your lawn is in full sun your Prestige turf will keep its winter colour better.
However, all Buffalo varieties will naturally slow growth in winter and brown off in frost prone regions. This browning off is not an issue and the lawn bounces back once the season warms up in spring.

Seed head

As a next generation Buffalo, Prestige turf is bred to have less seed head but like all Buffalo varieties will produce seed heads when stressed. 

The Verdict

So, choose Prestige Soft Leaf for a Buffalo when you want the next and best generation in turf grasses.
Compared to Sir Walter, Prestige Buffalo is the winner hands down for winter colour in full sun, low thatch and can tolerate high drought conditions.

Prices are comparable with Prestige turf’s Expect to Pay Price between $13 and $16.50 per square metre.

If you want to learn more about Prestige Buffalo’s key features, planting times and maintenance requirements, head over to our Prestige Buffalo Turf Review.

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