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Runners On Top Of Buffalo Lawn

One trait amongst new soft buffalo grasses which has been showing up at Australian homes in the last few years since the recent rise in popularity of this grass, has been when buffalo grass runners seem to separate themselves and sit on top of the lawn.

Runners sitting on top of buffalo lawns is not a major concern whatsoever to the health of the turf, however for many people it can seem like an ugly or slightly annoying trait of these grasses. The symptoms of the problem is that some buffalo runners will separate themselves from the other above ground runners which make up the buffalo lawn. Instead of remaining tightly knitted together as these runners (stolons) should do, they instead sit on top of the turf, with most of the runner not rooted into the soil and therefore it can move about, as well as look odd and unusual on the buffalo lawn surface.

So lets quickly find out the why and the fix for this minor buffalo lawn problem.

Why Buffalo Runners Separate From The Turf

We haven't found a single explanation for this problem occurring, except to say that we've only ever seen buffalo runners sitting on top of lawns on turf which is being mowed at too low a height.

Most buffalo lawns with separating runners that we've seen are being mowed with a cylinder mower at heights of around 12mm, and this seems as though it may be the outstanding cause for the issue.

Fixing Buffalo Lawn Runners On Top Of Lawn

If we have this problem reoccurring, then the easiest fix is to first just pull the offending runner out of the lawn, or better yet - to grab some secateurs and cut the runner out and throw it away. Which fixes the runners themselves, but does not stop the problem occurring in the first place.

So with lawn mowing heights seeming to be the cause of this problem, then its also where the solution may lie as well. We should remember that buffalo grass lawns love being kept at heights of at least 30mm, and can be easily mowed at heights right up to 60mm as well. We think somewhere in the middle of these ranges is the best mowing height for buffalo grass.

And in lifting our buffalo lawn mowing heights, we'll not only rid ourselves of this annoying problem in our turf when the runners sit on top of the buffalo lawn, but we'll also be adding even more benefits to the lawn as well. Such as improved disease tolerance, improved shade tolerance, improved health and wear and tear capabilities, as well as creating a more water efficient buffalo lawn - which is less prone to browning off or becoming damaged in the heat of summer.

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