Where did the name Sir Walter come from? - Lawn Solutions Australia

Where did the name Sir Walter come from?

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo lawns have played an important role in over 750,000 Aussie backyards. The household name has stood the test of time, continuing to be one of the best choices for Australian homes. Sir Walter has thrived in the Australian climate with its drought tolerance, low maintenance, soft touch, and high wear.

But where did Sir Walter come from?

Brent Redman is a second-generation turf farmer from the Hunter Valley, NSW, and is the owner of Buchanan Turf Supplies. Mr Redman began turf cutting in the late 70’s. By the mid-80’s he had purchased 20 acres in the rich river flats of Maitland.

Mr Redman mainly grew kikuyu and couch, with only a small portion of the farm dedicated to growing buffalo varieties. At the time buffalo was just buffalo and Mr Redman ended up growing 5 different varieties within a 2-acre plot.

Although most of these buffalo grasses struggled with limited knowledge on how to care for them, some survived.

Trialing of the new turf variety

Mr Redman was often in contact with other turf suppliers and had heard some of their struggles with their buffalo varieties. Mr Redman realised he was not facing these troubles with one of the buffalo varieties he had growing on his farm and offered some samples to trial for their farms.

Upon these samples growing, one of Mr Redman’s contacts Charlie Courtney coined the phrase ‘soft leaf buffalo’. Other buffalo grasses were found to be coarse, scratchy, and crunchy, a soft leaf blade was a welcomed discovery.

This new variety of grass started to gain popularity with its soft texture leading to more trials on more farms. On one of these farms, John Tebitt’s Peninsular Turf, they planted a trial underneath a Morton Bay Fig. During this time a TV crew was filming on the farm. Mr Tebbit showed the presenter and crew Mr Redman’s turf sample for them to look at. They suggested the name ‘Shademaster’ as the grass grew extremely well in the shade of the fig tree.

As Shademaster continued to grow on Mr Redman’s farm, a small area was found to be growing which had maintained a greener winter colour, a healthier root system and it was taking over the existing Shademaster.

Mr Redman noticed the potential of this new variety and began propagating the grass to protect the purity and integrity of the variety. After the propagated grass matured, the grass was shown to some of Mr Redman’s turf associates who saw a big potential in the new grass which would soon become known as Sir Walter.

Sir Walter DNA Certified buffalo grass

Where did the Sir Walter name come from?

Sir Walter was named to reflect the qualities that the grass possesses. Initially the acronym ‘WALT’ was created, standing for ‘Winter Active, Low Thatch’. It was also decided to add a reference to the significant environmental benefits of the grass, with the addition of the ER for ‘Environmentally Responsible’.

A grass this good needed to be anointed, with a symbolic ‘knighting’ and the Sir prefix added to honour the exceptional qualities of the grass.

S I R      

  • W inter
  • A ctive
  • L ow
  • T hatch
  • E nvironmentally
  • R esponsible

The rest is history as they say, with Sir Walter being expanded and produced right across Australia. Sir Walter today is an ‘Iconically Aussie’ brand and is undoubtedly the most successful commercial turf variety in Australian history. As a result of this success deception and substitution by competitors has occurred. Many varieties over the years have claimed to be ‘just like’, ‘same as’ or ‘bred from’.

How do I know the Sir Walter I am buying is genuine?

With the need to protect the Sir Walter brand and to provide an assurance to consumers that the Sir Walter they were purchasing was genuine, Lawn Solutions Australia (LSA) was formed. LSA is a national group of Australia’s best turf producers, who are the only producers of what is now known as Sir Walter DNA Certified. This extension of the Sir Walter name was developed to provide the assurance to consumers that the Sir Walter they are buying is DNA tested. This turf matches the original breeder Sir Walter plant material bred at Mr Redman’s farm developed over 20 years ago. Only LSA turf producers can provide this ‘Original Breeder’ guarantee.

If you want genuine Sir Walter, validated by DNA testing, look for Sir Walter DNA Certified from accredited suppliers with the Original Breeder Guarantee from Mr Redman.

To find contact details for your local Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo grass supplier, click here.

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