With a few changes to our watering practices, we can easily create a more water wise or water efficient Buffalo lawn, which is more resilient to heat stress, remains healthier throughout the year and will tolerate drought a little better. All this while using less water.
The principle behind creating a water efficient Buffalo lawn is quite simple.
Apply more water - less frequently.
How It Works
If the Buffalo lawn receives short frequent watering, it will only ever create a shallow root system, which is extremely vulnerable to heat stress, and stress from lack of water.
By watering deeply and frequently, the lawn will still only develop a shallow root system because there is no need for it's roots to travel deeper looking for water, so the lawn is equally as vulnerable - and we've just wasted an enormous amount of extra water.
The problem with a shallow root system is that the lawn roots will dry out and suffer stress or die very quickly once the Summer heat arrives and the lawn top soil dries out very quickly. This will also dry out the root system and the lawn will suffer.
So our aim is to encourage a deep root system in our Buffalo lawn.
Deep Root Systems in Buffalo Grass
When the lawn receives a deep soaking, the water will penetrate through from the top of the Buffalo grass all the way through the upper soil profile.
When this is combined with infrequent watering, the Buffalo grass will send out it's roots deeper and deeper into the soil in search of water. This sets down a good deep root system for the turf.
And because we watered deeply, the lawn roots will always have access to sufficient water as they travel throughout the soil.
Now it's imperative that we do not water again too soon, otherwise the lawn roots will stop travelling down into the soil, and stay shallow.
The next lawn watering should not be pre-determined.
The lawn owner should monitor the lawn for signs of stress, and only when the lawn reaches a point of beginning to look stressed, it's time to water again.
Ongoing Buffalo Lawn Watering
All subsequent waterings should again be very deep, this is usually double or more of normal reticulation settings.
By using this method, we will quickly find the right frequency for watering our Buffalo lawn to perfection, this usually works out to about once a week. After this, we can usually forget about our lawn watering for the rest of the growing season. We only need to set our reticulation according to our new findings.
Remember, your lawn environment may be different, so adjust this system as required by monitoring the lawn health. Your own Buffalo lawn may need watering every 6 days, or may need watering every 9 days.
How This System Uses Less Water
A regular watering schedule may include watering for 20 minutes - 3 times per week - totalling 60 minutes of watering per week.
Swapping to this system would in effect cut this watering down to around 40 minutes per week, and that's a big saving in water.
The end result is a Buffalo lawn with a deep healthy root system which is far more resilient to heat stress.