Feeding our lawns with fertilisers really is vital to achieving a buffalo grass lawn which is in its greatest possible health, remains the greenest all year round, and resists weeds, pests and diseases naturally. Fertilisers really are vital to achieve a beautiful buffalo lawn. However there are major concerns with lawn fertilisers, and one of the most important arises from the overuse of these fertilisers by lawn owners keen to have the most beautiful lawn in the street. So lets take a look at some of those concerns to understand the equal importance of fertilising buffalo grass in proper moderation.
Following are the major areas of concern for over fertilsing of buffalo grass.
Excess Thatch and Growth
Buffalo grass is notorious for that thick layer of thatch that slowly but surely builds higher and higher over the years, this is especially true when buffalo is grown in full sun instead of its peak growing environment of partial shade.
Overuse of fertilisers is well known to create excessive growth rates in all lawns in both green leaf matter and the thatch layer, and the same is true for buffalo grass too.
This will not only increase the amount of lawn mowing required as we must match the frequency of lawn mowing with the growth rates of the lawn, but we can also expect the lawn to be scalped at the next lawn mowing, which will make the scalped areas brown and ugly and taking weeks to repair, but will also greatly aid in the increase of the buffalo thatch layer at significantly greater speed.
Yes it is true that fertilisers do cause environmental damage, and its the phosphate in these fertilisers which cause those ugly algal blooms in our waterways. But such things have been proven over and over to be caused primarily by agriculture and not home fertiliser use.
Also, if lawns are fertilised properly, then the lawn should use every bit of fertiliser applied to it, with next to zero runoff. Its the same as a plate of food for a human, if we serve too much, the person gets full and the remainder is thrown away. If we give too much food to the lawn at any one time, it too can only absorb so much fertiliser at any one time until it is unable to take in any more, and the excess is washed away into the environment.
A Very Sick Lawn
As we just used the scenario of the buffalo lawn only being able to take in so much of its food source (nutrients from fertilisers) at any one time, before it can take in no more. The reality is the lawn will actually overfeed itself first before it can stop any further uptake of nutrients.
And its from this same overfeeding, that the excess nutrients can become toxic within the buffalo grass, and will result in the lawn becoming quite sick. Which is the opposite result of what we were trying to achieve by fertilising the lawn in the first place.
And in such a weakened state which may take months for the lawn to recover from depending on the time of the year the damage occurred, the lawn will be in a highly weakened state for a greater period of time, making it far more susceptible to diseases, weeds and pest invasion.
Burnt Buffalo Lawn
The over application of fertiliser, if done at a time of year when the weather is hot, can also easily result in the buffalo lawn being heavily burnt and severely damaged from a combination of the fertiliser and heat of the day.
If fertiliser is left on any lawn for too long during a hot day, the lawn will literally become burnt very quickly, the lawn will turn brown and can often die depending on the amount of fertiliser which is left sitting on the lawn and the temperature of the heat of the day.
Over fertilising simply and massively increases the possibility of this severe damage occurring to our lawns during hot weather.
As we can see from the points already covered, over fertilising our buffalo lawn can have dramatic damaging impacts on our lovely lawn, not only risking immediate damage from fertiliser burn and scalping from lawn mowing, but also increasing the thatch layer of the buffalo at far greater speed over time. And on top of this, we are weakening our lawn, making it sick and prone to invasion of weeds, pest and diseases, and finally, we are creating environmental damage where none needs to occur.
And of course the final point comes down to money. Over fertilising our buffalo lawn is a massive waste of money, not only in buying the excess fertiliser itself, but also from the extra lawn mowing, repair of damaged or diseased lawns, as well as from possible extra costs associated with dethatching the lawn more often, or even leading to its eventual demise years earlier than it should be as the thatch layer finally becomes unmanageable so much sooner than need be.