Buffalo grass is sod-forming grass that spreads primarily via runners (also called stolons). Unlike other grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda, which spread through both runners and roots, Buffalo grass relies on its runners to spread. Encourage Buffalo grass runner growth with proper watering and fertilization to promote a thicker yard during the summer months.
Should You Remove Runners From Buffalo Grass
The runners sent out by Buffalo grass are essential for filling in bare spots of your lawn. However, you should remove runners creeping into flower beds, gardens, or onto paved surfaces. This will keep your yard tidy and prevent the Buffalo grass from taking over areas that should be grass-free.
- Allow Buffalo grass to produce runners in your lawn—they promote thick grass and keep broadleaf weeds out.
- Remove runners that invade garden beds and paved areas.
- Mow errant Buffalo grass runners that grow upwards instead of along the soil surface.
In some cases, Buffalo grass runners may stick upwards rather than creep along the surface of the lawn. You should mow these errant runners to keep your lawn from being unsightly.
How Do You Kill Runners in Buffalo Grass?
If your Buffalo grass is sending ground runners outside the confines of your lawn and into gardens or pathways, the best way to get rid of them is by using a string trimmer along the borders of your lawn. Trim runners early and often to prevent them from taking root in gardens or seams between pavers.
- Use a string trimmer to cut runners that invade gardens and paved areas.
- Trim runners early to prevent them from taking root in unwanted areas.
- Spread a topdressing of loamy soil to encourage upward-growing runners to take root along the surface of your lawn.
If your yard has an excess of runners growing upwards instead of across the soil surface, the quick fix is to mow them. However, these runners are valuable for encouraging a thick, weed-resistant lawn. Consider spreading a top dressing of loamy soil over the lawn and distributing it with a rake. A little extra soil can encourage these wild ground runners to take root and form a thick carpet of Buffalo grass.
How Do You Get Your Buffalo Grass to Spread?
The best way to get your Buffalo grass to produce new runners and spread is by providing enough fertilizer and water. Buffalo grass spreads most aggressively in the warm months of late spring and summer. To capitalize on this, follow our key tips for Buffalo grass care. One essential tip is to water Buffalo grass only during June, July, and August. Provide 2–3 inches of water 10–14 days throughout these summer months.
- Buffalo grass produces the most runners during the summer months.
- Encourage summer growth with 2–3 inches of water every 10–14 days from June through August.
- Fertilize your Buffalo grass twice in summer to promote more runners and better spread.
- Spread your first fertilizer application in June, followed by a second application in July.
- This fertilizer is an excellent choice for a wide range of Buffalo grass cultivars.
Buffalo grass needs fuel to drive increased growth. To deliver this, fertilize your lawn twice each summer. The first fertilizer application should be made in June, with a follow-up application in July. A 12-12-12 fertilizer is an excellent choice for Buffalo grass. By combining proper watering with the ideal fertilizer, you’ll see fresh runners and a thicker lawn.
How Quickly Does Buffalo Grass Spread?
Buffalo grass can spread enough to cover about 1 square foot in a single summer of growth. However, Buffalo grass is only likely to spread at this rate if it is adequately fertilized and watered during the summer months. To further encourage grass spread, perform frequent mowing at a mowing height of 2–3 inches.
- A single Buffalo grass plant can spread over a 1 square-foot area in a single growing season.
- Water and fertilize during summer months to promote Buffalo grass growth.
- Lawn mowing heights between 2 and 3 inches promote the greatest Buffalo grass spread.
- A Buffalo lawn that is not watered, fertilized, and mowed in summer will not spread.
Although Buffalo grass is a low-maintenance lawn, it does require summer care to produce new runners and promote thick growth. If your Buffalo grass experiences drought and enters summer dormancy, it won’t spread. Summer is the time of year where Buffalo grass experiences the most growth. If you neglect your lawn at this time, it won’t thicken or recover bare spots.
Does Buffalo Lawn Grass Have Runners?
Buffalo grass produces runners aggressively during the summer months. Unlike some other grass species, Buffalo grass spreads through runners alone. This makes it imperative to water and fertilize Buffalo grass during the summer months. If the grass is exposed to drought during the summer season and does not produce runners at this time, you will miss your chance for new growth until the next summer. This makes it essential to water and fertilize your Buffalo grass lawn in summer.