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Slow release lawn fertilisers are another option for buffalo lawn owners wanting to implement a year round fertilising program for their lawns. We mainly discuss standard lawn fertilisers on this site as they are the most commonly used fertilisers by most Australian homeowners. However, these days more companies are bringing out some good quality slow release lawn fertilisers and as such its appropriate that we also bring these lawn care products to our attention for possible use on our buffalo lawns.

Standard Versus Slow Release Lawn Fertilisers

Slow release fertilisers are made a little differently than standard fertilisers, and are specially designed to release their nutrients slowly over a much longer period of time.

Standard lawn fertilisers are made from a selection of nutrients which are all blended together to form the complete fertiliser product. After application and watering in, these fertilisers will begin to break down immediately and release the nutrients to the lawn, with full break down of the fertiliser usually expected within about a week.

Slow release fertilisers use the same nutrients but will be designed to deteriorate at a much slower rate than standard fertilisers. As a result, a slow release fertiliser will continually feed the buffalo lawn slowly for 2 to 3 months from a single application.

Slow Release Lawn Fertilising Program

Using slow release fertilisers on our buffalo lawn will alter our year round fertilising program for healthy buffalo grass. We always begin counting our fertiliser applications from May, because the May fertilising is the most important of the year to ensure good lawn health through Winter and the earliest lawn green up in Spring.

Therefore, we begin our fertilising in May, and then follow up every 3 months.

  • May
  • August
  • November
  • February

Slow Release Fertilisers and Lawn Mowing

Because slow release fertilisers will be sitting inside the thatch layer of the lawn for some time as they slowly break down, we really should alter our lawn mowing practices slightly so that we don't remove the fertiliser granules in our lawn mowing catcher.

The first one to two mowings after application of slow release lawn fertiliser should be done with the catcher off the lawn mower, leaving the clippings to fall on the grass and deteriorate where they lay.

Provided the grass is regularly mowed, then these clippings are also very good for the lawn, returning valuable Nitrogen and moisture to the the soil and lawn. Kind of like an added fertiliser boost for the turf.

Over time, the granules will slowly fall to the bottom of the thatch and close to the soil itself, and will then present little to no chance of ever being sucked up and removed by the lawn mower. So after the first one to two mowings without the catcher, it would be safe to once again begin catching the clippings as normal.

Iron Chelate In Winter

The only real issue with slow release lawn fertilisers is that we cannot switch to a winter fertiliser for the colder months of the year. Which for good quality fertilisers isn't of a massive concern because they should be very well balanced in their nutrient profiles.

This is with the exception of Iron. Lawns love a little extra Iron in their diets over winter, it helps keep the grass green and resisting the effects of the cold weather, and this is especially and more so the case with buffalo grass.

So if we decide to use slow release fertilisers on our buffalo lawns, then a supplement of the minor nutrient of Iron would be a very good addition to our fertilising regimen.

Iron can be bought in the fertiliser aisle in any shop which sells lawn fertilisers. It will be in chelated form and sold in a small pack for between $5.00 - 10.00. It is mixed up in a watering can and applied to the lawn as per manufacturers recommendations.

The Iron supplement should be applied once a year prior to winter, at the same time as the May fertiliser application is being applied to the lawn.

Adding Iron to our buffalo lawn for winter health really is very low cost, and very easily done in minimum time and effort, and well worth it in the results to achieve a buffalo lawn in good health year round, and especially in winter.

Just remember, Iron is a minor nutrient, and should only be applied in small quantities, so be sure to measure the lawn and only ever apply as recommended by the manufacturer.


Slow release lawn fertilisers are a worthwhile new addition to the products available for looking after our lawns. While they won't be suitable for everyone, nor for every home or lawn, they will indeed be a perfect choice for many. And as such, we would recommend the switch to slow release fertilisers for anyone interested in doing so. If not, then continue to feel confident in following on with standard lawn fertiliser products, it really is a personal choice.

Slow release fertilisers are one more option available to us for our buffalo lawn care.

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