Selecting the right lawn variety

Have you got a threadbare lawn that looks like it hosted a couple of rock festivals … during a flood? Does that area at the back of your house resemble a patchwork quilt of mud and wilted grass stems? Do you fear walking on your lawn in case the bindi turn your feet into pin cushions? Or perhaps you’re building your own home and want a lawn to match your amazing new house.

Where do you live?
The kind of lawn you end up purchasing should be highly dependent on a number of factors. These considerations include, your general geographic location, the aspect of your lawn (is it in shade or sun), your budget, your soil type, the look you’re after and, of course, the uses that your lawn will be put to. If you ignore any of these factors then you could end up with an expensive weed patch instead of a vibrant backlawn.

In the shade
Sun and shade have huge implications for the on-going viability of your lawn. For instance, does your garden get full sun all day long? If it does then you can grow pretty much any grass variety. However in this era of large houses on small blocks, the odds are that your garden will be, at least, partially shaded. Fences, trees, neighbouring houses and garden foliage can all have negative impacts on certain types of grass – couch for instance will simply die off in the shade. If your backlawn is shaded, even by fences then a shade tolerant grass variety, such as Sir Walter, should be used.

It's always good to know your soil condition before laying a new lawn

Good foundations
It’s always worth knowing what condition your soil is in before you install a new lawn or replace an existing one. While some grass varieties only thrive in certain types of soil, pre-emptive action to improve your soil will enable you to lay most types of grass without issue.

The look

Think carefully about the type of grass variety you plan on installing. Remember it’s not just about the visual look of the grass, but how it feels when you walk on it or how it reacts when you bowl a cricket ball on it. Are you after that well manicured bowling green look or something lusher?

Fit for purpose
Everybody uses their back lawn differently. You might enjoy playing backyard cricket with the kids, you might keep a dog or you might be a garden or lawn enthusiast who enjoys maintaining a perfectly ordered space to compliment the flowers and shrubs. The important thing is to plan ahead and choose a grass variety that’s robust enough to cope with things should the situation change. Sure, you might want a fine leaf showcase lawn variety now, but if you have kids later on, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is re turfing the lawn to cope with the ankle-biters fun and games.

Coastal defences
Like many Australians, you might live on the coastal fringes and thus be in the path of salt spray. Not all grass varieties cope well with this and you’ll need to ensure that you use something like a soft leaf buffalo, such as Sir Walter DNA Certified buffalo lawn, if you don’t want to end up with dunes where you once had a lawn.

Water water
For some regions we live in an era of water restrictions and it’s important to understand the effects of those restrictions on any lawn before it’s installed. In terms of water use, couches, most soft leaf buffalos and zoysias are all pretty similiar. Kikuyu requires a bit more water though or it’ll start to turn brown. Obviously your garden soil’s ability to retain water has a bearing on usage too, with coastal sandy areas suffering the most from fast drainage of water.

How much
On the whole it’s the fast growing varieties of lawn that are the cheapest – couch and kikuyu for instance. However they’re also less flexible than other types of lawn which cope better in drought and shade. When you’re weighing up your options, remember that the cost is not just the initial purchase from the turf farmer but the on-going cost of fertiliser, maintenance and water overheads.

Ask an expert
If you’re in any doubt as to which sort of turf to purchase, speak to one of your local Lawn Solutions Australia members and they’ll let you know what to consider in terms of local conditions. Be sure to shop around and remember that the cheapest lawn might also be the greatest hassle.


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