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The Ultimate Turf Showdown: TifTuf vs. Sir Walter 

Aug 29, 2023

Homeowners and landscapers today are spoilt for options in the quest for the perfect lawn. While each option boasts its unique set of attributes, TifTuf Bermuda grass and Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass have emerged as two of the topmost contenders. Both varieties are admired for their resilience, aesthetics, and adaptability to various climates.

In this article, we take a deep dive into the strengths and relative weaknesses of these two varieties to help you make a considered decision between TifTuf vs Sir Walter. Our comprehensive analysis takes into account multiple factors like leaf appearance, shade tolerance, and cost. 

But first, let’s take a closer look at these two varieties.  

TifTuf Grass: The Resilient Performer

TifTuf grass, scientifically known as Cynodon dactylon, is a warm-season turfgrass variety. It exhibits exceptional drought tolerance, a vibrant green colour, and impressive recovery capabilities. Developed through rigorous research at the University of Georgia, TifTuf grass has quickly gained popularity among homeowners and landscapers alike.

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: The Classic Choice

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass, scientifically known as Stenotaphrum secundatum, is an established turf variety. It is a popular choice because of its lush appearance, adaptability and ease of maintenance. This grass variant originated in Australia and has gained a reputation for its resilience in a range of environmental conditions.

Now that we know a little more about the two turf varieties, let us get right into the comparison of TifTuf vs Sir Walter.

Drought Resistance: Battling the Heat

Let’s explore how are two varieties fare when it comes to heat and drought resistance: 

  • TifTuf Grass: One of the most outstanding attributes of TifTuf grass is its exceptional drought resistance. It’s an attribute that makes it a top choice for regions with water restrictions or unpredictable rainfall. The battle against drought conditions often begins in the roots. TifTuf grass boasts a robust root system that reaches deep into the soil, allowing it to access water reserves in times of scarcity. This incredible drought resistance is attributed to its remarkable capacity to reduce water evaporation from the soil. Its fine-textured leaves also aid in minimizing water loss through transpiration. TifTuf grass can maintain its vibrant green colour even during prolonged periods of water scarcity, making it a prime choice for water-conscious homeowners.
  • Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: While not as drought-tolerant as TifTuf grass, Sir Walter Buffalo Grass still boasts considerable drought resistance. Its deep-rooted system can withstand dry spells while maintaining its emerald hue. The ability to thrive with less water is a significant advantage, particularly in regions where water conservation is a priority.

Shade Tolerance: Embracing the Shade

Now that we know how they cope with heat and drought, let’s see how these two grass varieties fare under the shade:  

  • TifTuf Grass: While its drought resistance is impressive, TifTuf can hold its ground in the shade well enough. It can endure moderate shade and still exhibit impressive growth. This makes it a versatile choice for landscapes that experience varying light conditions throughout the day. TifTuf grass performs well in various lighting conditions but thrives best in full sunlight. You need 4-5 hours of sun per day for TifTuf.
  • Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: Sir Walter’s shade tolerance is a feather in its cap. It exhibits good shade tolerance compared to other warm-season grasses only requiring 3-4 hours of sunlight per day. Sir Walter can flourish under the shaded light of trees or buildings, proving its adaptability to different environments. This is a key factor for homeowners with yards that are partially shaded, allowing them to maintain a consistent and appealing lawn appearance across all areas.

Durability: Standing Up to Wear and Tear

Here’s one area where both grass varieties are evenly matched.

  • TifTuf Grass: It is known for its remarkable recovery capabilities. TifTuf bounces back from stressors such as foot traffic, sports and extreme weather conditions. Its lateral habit, dense growth pattern and hardy nature contribute to its ability to recover quickly from wear and tear. This durability ensures your lawn remains lush and vibrant even after enduring the rigours of daily activities.
  • Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: Sir Walter does not shy away when it comes to durability either. Its ability to bounce back after being subjected to a rigorous game of backyard footy or other forms of wear makes it a reliable choice for active households. The resilience of this grass variety ensures that your lawn remains an inviting space for recreation and relaxation.

Maintenance: Finding the Balance

Let’s now explore how demanding our two varieties are in terms of regular maintenance and upkeep.  

  • TifTuf Grass: A low-maintenance lawn is the dream of every homeowner. TifTuf grass aligns well with this aspiration due to its relatively low upkeep requirements. While it benefits from regular watering and occasional fertilisation, it doesn’t demand constant attention to stay healthy and vibrant. Reduced watering and mowing requirements make it an appealing option for those seeking to minimize lawn care efforts while maintaining a lush appearance.
  • Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: Sir Walter Buffalo grass, likewise, requires minimal maintenance, making it a favoured choice among those seeking a hassle-free lawn. It possesses excellent weed resistance, reducing the need for constant weeding, and its slower growth rate means less frequent mowing.

Cost: Budgets Battle of TifTuf vs Sir Walter

And now we come to the meat of the matter! What’s the cost component of buying and installing TifTuf vs Sir Walter? Let’s find out:

  • TifTuf Grass: TifTuf grass is generally less expensive when it comes to upfront costs. Its easy installation and lower initial price point make it an attractive option for homeowners on a tighter budget.
  • Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: Sir Walter grass, while slightly more expensive to install initially, offers long-term savings due to its low maintenance requirements and longevity. Its ability to thrive in various conditions without a demanding care regime can result in low overhead costs.

Leaf Appearance: Aesthetic Appeal

Finally, we come to the crowning glory of competing factors – aesthetic appeal. Here’s how TifTuf and Sir Walter stand in terms of leaf appearance and visual appeal:

  • TifTuf Grass: The fine-textured leaves of TifTuf grass contribute to a soft and luxurious appearance. Its fine blade texture not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the lawn but also allows it to be mowed quite low, making it a popular choice for sporting applications. The vibrant green hue and fine texture of TifTuf grass enhance the visual appeal of any outdoor space, creating a picturesque landscape that is both inviting and soothing.
  • Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass: Sir Walter grass features broader leaves that create a lush and inviting look. Its unique leaf shape sets it apart from other grass varieties and can lend a touch of elegance to your landscape. The thickness of Sir Walter’s soft leaves can give it a plush carpet-like appearance with a spongey, quilted feel.

A Turf Showdown

In the ultimate showdown between TifTuf Grass vs Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass, both contenders have their strengths. They both perform exceptionally well in our region around Sydney, the Southern Highlands and Wolllongong.

TifTuf impresses with its unparalleled drought resistance and ability to thrive in varying light conditions. On the other hand, Sir Walter excels in shade tolerance and offers a unique leaf appearance that adds character to any landscape.

Durability and low-maintenance characteristics are shared strengths, making both suitable for active households. When it comes to cost, though, TifTuf has the advantage in terms of upfront expenses, while Sir Walter’s longevity and minimal ongoing costs provide economic value over time.

The choice between TifTuf and Sir Walter will depend on your specific needs and priorities

If you are seeking a lawn that can withstand scorching summers, TifTuf might be your answer. Sir Walter would be a better choice if you have a yard with varying levels of shade. Whatever your preference, both TifTuf and Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass have proven themselves as formidable contenders in the world of turf grass. 

As you weigh the pros and cons of each variety, remember that the ultimate goal is a vibrant and inviting lawn that complements your outdoor space and lifestyle.     

Choosing the Right Grass for You

Selecting the right grass variety for your lawn depends on a range of factors, including climate, aesthetics, maintenance preferences, and specific site conditions. Both TifTuf grass and Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass offer unique qualities that cater to different needs.

If you reside in an area with limited water availability and desire a lawn that thrives under such conditions, TifTuf grass is an excellent choice. Its drought tolerance, rapid recovery, and minimal maintenance requirements make it a top contender for conserving water without compromising on visual appeal.

If you’re looking for a versatile grass that adapts to various climates and offers good shade tolerance, on the other hand, Sir Walter Buffalo Grass is definitely worth considering. Its lush appearance, low maintenance demands, and ability to withstand moderate drought conditions make it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a classic and resilient lawn.

To understand which type of turf is the best option for you, call us at 02 4651 0000.