Turf Laying and Lawn Care

Sir Walter Buffalo vs Sapphire Buffalo

How do you choose between the shade-tolerant buffalo grass brands?There’s plenty of conflicting information around, and it can be hard to know what’s important and accurate.

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Delivery to your door

Atlas Turf offer a huge delivery area to our customers throughout Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Newcastle and Illawarra NSW.

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How much turf do I need?

Calculating the amount of turf you need is easier than you may think. Our step-by-step guide will show you how.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where did Sir Walter originate?

Sir Walter was developed in the Hunter Valley in NSW by Buchanan Turf Supplies.

What size are the rolls of turf?

  • 1 ROLL = 1m2
  • Roll size is 585mm wide x 1.7m long (23″ wide x 5.6″ long) and approx. 25mm (1 inch) thick.
  • Each roll weighs about 15kg when dry.

How long will the grass keep before it needs to be laid?

In the cooler months the grass will keep for 1-2 days and in the hotter months only 24 hours. Place it in the shade in summer.

How do I calculate how many m2 of turf I need?

Multiply two sides together i.e.: 18m x 7m = 126m2. For irregular sites divide up into smaller squares/or triangles, calculate each individual area then add them together.

NB: The area of a triangle is the base x height divided by 2, and the area of a circle is 3.14 x radius x radius. Use the CALCULATOR on our Preparation Page.

What type of soil should I use?

We recommend a 60:40, sand:soil mix which can be purchased from your local Soil or Nursery Supplier but any type of soil from a sandy loam to a heavier dark Soil can be used provided there is good drainage.

Good soil may already exist on site, which may only require weed removal and sometimes the addition of some sandy topsoil to assist in levelling.

Can I lay turf on sand?

Yes, we have all seen buffalo growing wild at the beach.

It is better to put an organic fertiliser such as fowl manure, mushroom compost or Dynamic Lifter down first before laying the turf.

This is best incorporated into the soil to a depth of 2-4″ (50-100mm) and will help to hold the moisture for the turf.

How do I prepare the ground when laying on clay?

Apply Gypsum, which is a clay breaker, down first and incorporate it well with a Rotary Hoe.

How much soil should I use?

2″ (50mm) is okay, but 4″ (100mm) of soil is better. The root system of Sir Walter will penetrate the soil to a depth of about 2ft (600mm) in good soil with deep irrigation.

The deeper the soil, the deeper the roots will penetrate and the more drought tolerant the turf will become.

Good turf must have a good root system.

How many m2 will fit into a box trailer?

  • About 30m2 of Sir Walter Buffalo will fit into a small trailer. (6 x 4ft.)
  • About 40m2 of Sir Walter Buffalo will fit into a large trailer. (8 x 4ft.)

How many rolls of turf make up a pallet?

Usually 55-60 rolls of Sir Walter will fit on a standard pallet.
For long travel distances we secure the pallet with plastic wrap which allows the turf to breath.

How many pallets will fit on a truck?

  • A table top truck 2.40m wide and 7.0m long will hold 10 pallets.
  • A semi trailer will carry 20 pallets.
  • A ‘B’ Double will carry 30 pallets.

What is Shademaster Buffalo?

Shademaster originated in the Hunter Valley of NSW. in the mid 1980s, it was the first soft leaf buffalo available. It was then grown in the Sydney area from the early 1990s.

However, because of its purple discolouration in winter, other soft leaf Buffaloes were developed including Sir Walter which stay greener than Shademaster in Winter.

What are the advantages of Sir Walter compared with the other soft leaf Buffaloes?

Superior colour in winter compared with most soft leaf Buffaloes.

  1. Drought tolerance in summer.
  2. Herbicide and fungus resistance.
  3. Low Thatch development.
  4. Quick recovery after wear.
  5. Shade Tolerance.

Will Sir Walter grow in the shade?

No turf will grow in complete shade.

However, Sir Walter will grow in shady areas better than any other Buffalo grass that we have trialled including Shademaster soft lead Buffalo.

Generally 3 hours of direct sunlight of 4 hours of filtered light are required per day.

Shade from Trees: The turf will require additional fertiliser and water to compete with the tree.

Shade from buildings: Sometimes these areas are damp and require extra drainage with subsurface ‘ag’ pipes.

How can I be sure I’m getting Sir Walter?

With a lot of substituting of inferior turf for Sir Walter in the industry, only deal with a licensed grower or nursery.

Atlas Turf (License No. 201) will supply you with an invoice stating that your purchase is Sir Walter and supply a Certificate of Authenticity.

Do not purchase Sir Walter from a supplier who won’t supply the correct invoice and certificate.

When should I fertilise my lawn?

Fertilise prior to laying and again two weeks after installing, then every eight weeks for the first twelve months.

Once established, apply fertiliser early spring, early summer and mid autumn. The autumn fertilising is essential for the lawn to stay greener through winter.

What type of fertiliser should I use?

Correct fertiliser recommendations vary depending on climate, region and soil type. Generally a slow released balanced NPK lawn food is best, such as Sir Walter Fertiliser that is available from our online store and most Sir Walter suppliers.

Alternatively, contact your local nursery for their recommended equivalent such as Dynamic Lifter, Shirleys No. 17 etc.

How and when to water my Lawn?

Newly transplanted turf requires extra care (especially water) for the first few weeks. Turf must be kept moist, (but not drowned all day) until the roots have taken.

During hot daylight hours the leaf should not be allowed to dry out and edge areas near concrete or brick borders will suffer the most.

Curling and a grey colour of the leaf will tell you when the turf has dried out. New turf should be saturated immediately after laying.

Test for soil moisture with a 4″ (100mm) probe e.g. screwdriver. The ground should be moist to this level. If hot and/or windy, extra watering will be required and each site will have different water requirements depending on soil type, drainage etc.

A good way to estimate how much irrigation has been applied is to place an empty container under the spray area of the sprinkler. When 20mm of water has been collected in the container, move the sprinkler to the next position. After 30 minutes, check to see how deep the water has infiltrated into the soil and reapply irrigation until the 100mm depth has been achieved.

Once the turf has taken root (7-10 days in summer, 10-14 days in winter), watering can be decreased to a level that will depend on the climatic conditions. As a guide, when conditions are dry, the lawn should require 2-3 deep waterings in summer per week, or 1 per week in winter, until the full establishment of a deep root system (approx. 12 months).

Once fully established, one deep watering per week is usually sufficient except in extreme conditions.

It is also possible to over water the turf during establishment especially in the cooler months. If you notice that the turf has turned a yellow colour in winter during establishment, this may well indicate that too much water (drowning) of the turf is taking place.

Do not make the turf so wet during winter establishment that it is squishy underfoot every day.

When can I mow my newly laid lawn?

The first mowing should not be done until the roots have taken and the turf is not easily lifted. The first mowing should only be a light trim, and never take more than a third of the leaf off in any single mowing.

What height should I mow my Sir Walter lawn?

Sir Walter can be mown at various heights ranging from 15mm to 50mm, however, correct height can depend on personal preference and climatic conditions.

Mow higher in shady areas. It is recommended to raise your mowing height prior to winter.

Generally, a longer leaf will encourage a deeper root system, which is preferred to encourage drought tolerance.


Extremely satisfied…

“We have used and recommended Atlas Turf for the last few years and have been extremely satisfied. Kerrie and Neale grow exceptionally good quality grass of various varieties, that meet both our high standards as well as meeting our customers needs. Availability and delivery has never been an issue and their staff have always been very helpful. If you’re looking at new grass or looking to change suppliers, we would have no hesitation in recommending Atlas Turf.”

– Shelley Conasch, Feature Trees Australia

I would definitely recommend…

“…The turf was delivered and the delivery gentleman from Atlas even informed us, by eye that we had ordered too little turf, and recommended an amount we needed, and was spot on. The process from ordering, to delivering, to laying was all made easier by Atlas and all of their staff, and I would definitely recommend them to any friends or family.”

– Brendan, Sydney

Prompt and lovely to deal with…

“We used Atlas Turf to turf our whole yard, front and back. The staff on the phone were prompt, lovely to deal with and were very knowledgeable not only of their own product but also helped answer many questions about the preparation, maintenance and also a few tips to help lay the turf.”

– Brendan, Sydney

I am extremely happy…

“Just a quick note to let you know that I am extremely happy with my new Sir Walter Lawn. Thank you to the Great Service and Advice I received from all the staff at Atlas Turf.”

– David, Windsor

You were fantastic…

“Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how happy we are with our Lawn, right from the start you were fantastic recommending the best lawn for me since I have always lived in a unit it was all a bit confusing. I have a bit of a smile on my face when I walk out on the weekends and my neighbours are all having to mow every weekend but you were right the lawn you selected for me even in summer only needs a quick cut every 3 to 4 weeks to look awesome! Thanks again.”

– Kent, Quakers Hill