It is a common preconception that Buffalo turf is the best available turf on the market today. However, recent research and findings on Zoysia grasses have found that this is not quite the case, and Zoysia can actually outperform Buffalo in many aspects.
The most popular Zoysia's on the market today are Empire™ Zoysia and Nara™ native turf, both bred, trialled and delivered by Ozbreed. Recent research on these varieties and common Buffalo varieties have shown outstanding results for Zoysia grasses. The most interesting being that Zoysia's can tolerate chemical control. For example, if the highly invasive Kikuyu gets into Buffalo, unfortunately there are no sprays available on the market that will not kill off your Buffalo turf. Zoysia's, however, can be sprayed with readily available chemicals currently on the market and will survive the treatment. This means that you can protect your Zoysia grass from a common Kikuyu invasion. Research has found that Zoysia's are also resistant to Army Worm and Web Worm and significantly less damaged by Black Beetle.
Nara™ native turf (Zoysia macrantha 'MAC03' PBR) is a beautiful fine textured lawn that survives on much less water than other varieties. The Department of Primary Industries stated that native Zoysia’s are more drought tolerant than Couch, Kikuyu, and Buffalo turf. Nara™ native turf generally maintains a stunning evergreen colour throughout summer and winter. Recent studies have shown if fertilised well in autumn and winter, Nara™ Zoysia will provide consistent green colour throughout winter in many parts of Australia, performing as good as, if not better than other Buffalo varieties.
Being a native grass to Australia, with vigorous deep rhizomes, Nara™ turf has had millions of years to grow and adapt to our hot dry and humid climates, making it far more drought tolerant than all the other varieties that come from wetter overseas climates. Australia’s famous heavy rain storms have rendered Nara™ Zoysia more tolerant of wet feet than Kikuyu, Buffalo and Couch. Nara™ lawn is fast establishing, easy to grow, performs well around garden beds and requires a lot less mowing and edging than your average lawn. With incredibly low maintenance levels such as this, Nara™ Zoysia has become very popular and is widely used on commercial projects and roadsides.
Empire™ turf (Zoysia japonica 'SS500 PBR') is a lovely soft fine textured lawn with deep green colour that looks stunning. Empire™ Zoysia is a very low maintenance turf, requiring 2 to 3 times less mowing and less edging than most Buffalo, Couch and Kikuyu varieties. This fact alone can dramatically reduce maintenance costs, specifically if you are hiring a contractor or paying staff to maintain your lawn. It will thrive in any tough climatic condition including drought, humidity and even extreme wet conditions. Empire™ turf is also very hard wearing and waterwise, making it an excellent choice for home gardeners and landscapers Australia wide.
In summary, research has also found that Zoysia’s in general are lower in maintenance, are naturally far more lawn grub resistant, more wear tolerant and far better in value. As Zoysia’s will only tolerate up to 40% shade, Buffalos are still the best choice of lawn for areas with more than 40% shade. Zoysia’s also have outstanding winter colour and a very quick spring green up if fertilised well in autumn and winter. So not only all-rounder outstanding performers, Zoysia’s have many qualities and attributes that are far more superior to Buffalo varieties, and should not be overlooked when considering a new lawn.