A quick guide to Buffalo grass mowing heights

Buffalo grass must be mowed at the right heights to ensure the turf remains in the best condition possible. Most lawn types will suffer poor health when mowed at heights which are very short.

Can Buffalo Grass ever look like a Bowling Green?

As homeowners, we can look upon those beautiful flat surfaces of lush bowling greens and often long for the same turf quality for our own home lawns. There are several problems with wanting these things for any home lawn, and most especially Buffalo grass.

In order to keep lawns at such low heights, a lawn will need very careful management practices, of fertilising, mowing every few days, very deep watering, lawn nutrient management, and disease control. Without this careful management, Bowling Greens would fall into bad health very quickly just from being kept at those low heights.

Buffalo grass can never look like a Bowling Green, it’s simply the wrong grass!

Dangers of Mowing Buffalo Grass too Low

Buffalo grass runs into major problems when cut at very low heights.

Those Bowling Greens we just mentioned are all grown with Couch, not Buffalo, and when we attempt to keep Buffalo at these low heights we’re going to have very big problems.

Issues Buffalo Lawns Face when Cut too Low

Buffalo grass mowed too short will:

  • Develop its thatch layer much faster, especially when grown in full sun
  • Develop its thatch layer much thicker, especially when grown in full sun
  • Will be in very poor health and susceptible to disease and pest invasions
  • Will lose much of its shade tolerance due to a lack of green leaf

These are all very serious problems for Buffalo grass, and the difference between two neighbouring lawns grown side by side with one cut at 12mm and one cut at 40mm is massive.

The Buffalo lawn with longer leaf and cut at higher heights will always be greener and lusher, and be far more shade tolerant, and more resistant to weeds, pests and diseases than the lawn cut at the lower height.

The Repercussions of Cutting too Low

Even if one lawn is cut so low with a Cylinder Mower to achieve these low heights and that flat bowling green look, that same lawn will always be naturally browner, requiring more water and fertiliser, and will have that flat look sitting on top of inches of Buffalo lawn thatch.

And the problem with these lawns is that once they get to this state, there’s nothing that can be done to save the lawn. Cutting into that thick thatch will only kill the lawn. Whereas with a Buffalo lawn mowed at correct heights – the lawn owner can occasionally safely cut lower into the thatch once or twice a year to control it without any major issues arising.

How to Mow Buffalo Grass Properly

Thirty to 50 mm is the correct height for Buffalo grass, and buffalo should never be maintained at such low heights of 12 mm with Cylinder Mowers or with Rotary Mowers.

Pay close attention to mowing at the correct height and be assured of a much healthier Buffalo grass lawn all year round, and for many more years into the future.

For more fast facts and Q&As on our Buffalo varieties –

Or check out our handy Quick Lawn Selection Guide


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