Perhaps your garden has taken off and your trees and shrubs have shot up in the past five years and you’ve now got too much shade. Or your kids have become more active and are placing greater wear on your lawn. What is the right lawn?
Whatever the reason, what was once an ideal lawn for your yard is now not suitable for the environment or its uses.
Here’s a guide to help you decide on a lawn that will look good and suit your family’s requirements.
The first thing to consider is your location.
For example, if you live close to the coast you may have noticed that your current lawn doesn’t cope well with salt. Therefore you need to look for a variety that can tolerate salt. Or you may live in an increasingly warmer climate and have found that your lawn doesn’t cope very well with drought. In this case, you’d be best served by a lawn that can cope better with dry conditions.
Once you determine what types of lawns are suitable in your area you can look at what you’ll be using your lawn for. For example, will it be purely for show, or do you have kids and/or a dog that will make it a high-traffic area.
How much sun and shade you get is critical to the success of your lawn. If your neighbour has added a second floor to their home or their trees have grown substantially since you installed your lawn, you may have to reconsider the variety you have to get the best result. If you have full sun all day then you can choose almost any variety, but shade tolerance becomes very important with reduced hours of sunlight. Remember though that all varieties will struggle in heavily shaded areas.
Drought tolerance may have become a more important issue for you in recent times. Varieties such as Sir Grange and TifTuf have excellent drought tolerance. Couches, most soft leaf buffaloes and zoysias are similar in most areas for water usage. Kikuyu needs a bit more water to maintain a reasonable appearance.
Note drought tolerance and water usage are not the same. Some grasses will survive in extreme conditions with minimal water, but not look their best, while others will look better for longer, but can die without adequate water.
More cars or people at home will lead to heavier wear and tear, therefore a faster growing lawn that self-repairs quickly might be best for you.
More traffic will result in more compaction, especially with clay-based soils, causing stress and damage to any lawn. If you’re putting in a new lawn remember that regular aeration should be a key component of your maintenance plan.
Are you a keen gardener? If you don’t mind getting outside and edging, mowing, fertilising, etc. then you won’t mind if you choose a higher maintenance variety of turf. However, if you want to spend a minimal amount of time on your lawn, then you can look for lower maintenance varieties and place a greater weighting on this when making a final decision.
Lawn varieties vary in price too, so this may be a major consideration for you. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if a certain lawn provides you good value. For example, if low maintenance has become a greater priority for you, you may decide that purchasing a zoysia is well worth a little more money.
Fine, soft and broad are all descriptors of the leaf of lawn varieties. This is a personal preference. For some it’s not of high importance, while others specifically want a certain leaf profile.
Sir Grange is a showpiece type of lawn with a deep green, fine leaf. This zoysia tolerates shaded areas very well and has reduced maintenance requirements. Sir Grange suits lawn lovers who want the best of the best.
Sir Walter DNA Certified is the number one buffalo lawn in Australia. This broad-leafed variety thrives in all types of weather, from frost to drought. It’s also relatively low maintenance.
TifTuf has a fine, soft leaf, however this is one tough lawn. It’s ideal for those with an active lifestyle – perfect for backyard footy, frisbee and fun. It can be cut short and has higher maintenance requirements due to its rapid repair from wear.
Your yard’s environment and how you use your lawn may have changed since you installed your grass. Deciding what’s most important to you is a great place to start to assist you with deciding on a variety that’s right for you and your new conditions. Once you’ve got that clear in your mind, it’s best to give a turfgrower a call to confirm your choice and perhaps even drop in to a farm to take a look at the variety you’re interested in.