Killing Weeds in Buffalo Grass

Killing Weeds in Buffalo Grass

Buffalo lawns are popular in most parts of Australia for their hard-wearing soft leaf, high tolerance to shade and medium tolerance to drought.

Once established, they’re relatively low maintenance and well known for their ability to outcompete weeds, but still need careful attention when it comes to managing weeds.

Common Weeds in Buffalo Grass

  • Onion Weed thrives in damp conditions and semi shade, spreading by seed and from underground bulbs.
  • Soursob, also known as Creeping Oxalis, reproduces by developing an underground network of small bulbs off a long tap root.
  • Wintergrass is one of the most common weeds in Australian lawns and has a soft, bright green leaf.
  • Summer Grass is a prolific seeder and spreader, growing flat along the ground with wide leaves.
  • Dandelion plants can become dormant in winter, regrowing in spring when they produce a white puffball of seeds that disperse on the wind.
  • White Clover tolerates shade and frost and thrives in poorer soils where lawns are sparse or underfed.
  • Bindii is a common weed that germinates in winter and drops its annoying prickly seeds in summer.

There’s a guide to identifying common Broadleaf Weeds here and Grassy Weeds here.

How to Kill Weeds Naturally in Buffalo Grass

A regular lawn maintenance, deep watering and fertiliser program offers multiple benefits.

It promotes the health and vigour of your grass, encouraging it to smother any small weeds.

It also gives weeds a kick along so they’re actively growing and will respond better to treatment with herbicide if that becomes necessary.

Frequent mowing makes it easier to spot weeds when they’re small and can be useful for managing some weeds, such as Soursob. By removing the leaves and stem the plants are unable to photosynthesise and will weaken and die off.

But mowing doesn’t work on very low growing weeds, so the best method of dealing with these is to remove them by hand when plants are small.

Some weeds shouldn’t be pulled by hand or with a weed puller because they leave behind nuts, bulbs, tubers or rhizomes that can spread underground and develop new plants. This includes Nut Grass, Onion Weed and Soursob, which are best removed by using a spade.

Using Herbicides on Buffalo Grass

A pre-emergent herbicide combined with a fertiliser, such as Oxafert, will give your lawn a boost and lay down a protective layer that will stop newly-germinated weeds.

Suitable for use on Buffalo, Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia lawns, Oxafert does not control established weeds.

A knockdown herbicide will be needed for this, but be warned: Buffalo lawns are more sensitive than other types of grass, so use only bromoxynil-based products on them. Always check the product label first and follow the instructions for safety and application.

Wait a week after mowing before applying any herbicide to reduce the likelihood of damage from the chemical infiltrating freshly cut edges on grass blades.

Stronger chemicals, such as the non-selective herbicide glyphosate which kills any plant it touches, will need to be carefully applied with a weed wand, paintbrush or similar tool so it doesn’t come into contact with your grass.

It can take three or four treatments to control existing and new weeds, especially if they’re an ongoing problem.

There’s more information about removing specific weeds from your lawn here and you can browse the range of products from leading lawn care brands in myhomeTURF’s online store here

Recommended Products for Buffalo Grass

Spartan 500ml

Spartan 500ml is a pre-emergent herbicide suitable for use on Buffalo grasses as well as Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia. It controls Crowsfoot Grass, Summer Grass, Wintergrass, Paspalum and other grassy weeds.


Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm

Bow and Arrow 500ml

Bow and Arrow 500ml is suitable for Buffalo, Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia grasses. It controls a range of Broadleaf Weeds, including White Clover, Plantain, Capeweed, Cat’s Ear, Bindii, Cudweed and Soursob.


Indigo Duke 100WG 100g

Indigo Duke 100WG 100g should only be used on Buffalo, Couch and Kikuyu grasses. It helps suppress Ryegrass and Wintergrass and controls a range of Broadleaf Weeds, including Bindii, Black Thistle, Catsear, Cotula, Cudweed, Guildford Grass, Medic, Mouse Ear Chickweed, Oxalis, White Clover and False Onion Weed.


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