Common buffalo is that scratchy old buffalo grass from years gone by, its the buffalo grass which dominated the Australian and world market for a very long time before the better soft leaf buffalo grasses came onto the scene - starting in the 1990's.
So most adults in Australia will remember this awful grass from their childhoods, as it was grown in our parents and grandparents homes. While it gained its popularity as a shade grass, many people often ended up growing common buffalo in full sun, which then led to the massive thatch layers we've all seen on those old buffalo grass lawns of old.
In fact, I've personally seen some of these older buffalo lawns with thatch layers up to 10 inches thick, sitting way above surrounding footpaths and garden beds.
Performance Of Common Buffalo
Once again, there is really nothing nice we can say here about common buffalo grass, and therefore cannot ever recommend that anyone purchase or grow this grass type any longer.
In every area of turf quality, old common buffalo grass performs appallingly when compared to almost every new soft buffalo grass.
Wear and tear, thatching, shade tolerance, seeding levels, scratchiness, winter and summer colour… common buffalo loses on all fronts.
The only area where old common buffalo performed well amongst the newer buffalo grasses was in the area of drought tolerance and recovery, a mute point when considering all the bad points with this old undeveloped grass type.
The Future Of Common Buffalo
There is no future for common scratchy buffalo grass any longer in Australia, and there is simply no reason for anyone to every purchase it or grow it every again.
As the old buffalo lawns all reach their end of life due to increased thatch and very poor performance when compared to all other modern grasses, these old buffalo lawns would be and should be ripped out and replaced with better buffalo grasses for shaded areas, and better lawn types such as Zoysia if grown in full sun in the warmer regions of Australia.
Switch To A New Soft Buffalo Instead
The differences in quality between old and new buffalo grasses is massive in every aspect of turf quality. New soft buffaloes look massively better, perform better in almost every way, and are wonderfully soft to walk across or play on.
Please disregard old common buffalo, and switch to new soft buffalo instead.
Even if it were a case of attempting to save some money on the installation costs of a new buffalo lawn, which indeed can be an investment, we would highly recommend at buying the best quality buffalo possible - such as Palmetto, and install it in sections or by runners in order to reduce costs and still finish up with a buffalo lawn of the very highest quality possible, while reducing costs, and never having to face the awful regret of growing a common buffalo lawn in the 21st century when there is absolutely no need for it any longer.