A lawn choice for every type of backyard
When it comes to laying down turf one of the great things about living in Australia is the sheer number of turf varieties available to choose from. As the years go by, more and more varieties are being engineered to withstand to volatile Aussie weather and provide us with gorgeous green grass all year long. But, with a wide variety also comes a bit of confusion. With so many different types of turf to choose from it can be difficult to know which, of the many, would work best in your backyard space. To make it easier we have compiled a quick lawn guide that will help you make the right decision for your outdoor area.
Know your space
Before delving into the different turf varieties it is important you have a handle on the area you want to cover. You will need to establish the following:
- Does the area get full sun or is it shady? Or is it partly shaded and partly in the sun?
- Is the area level or is it on a slope?
- Are there areas of my yard that tend to get waterlogged? Are there spots that are bone dry?
- What sort of soil is prevalent in the area? Clay based, rich, sandy…
Once you have jotted down a few dot points it’s time to have a look at your varieties:
Buffalo Grass: Recognizable from its broad leaf blades Buffalo is a hardy grass type and a favourite among Aussies everywhere. Buffalo grasses are low maintenance, have a high shade tolerance, have a high wear tolerance and can produce a gorgeous green hue when maintained. Due to their large leaf size and strong blades – older, wilder Buffalo can be scratchy and irritate pets and children, but the varieties now on the market are soft and have been engineered for families to enjoy. The variations of this turf we stock at Rock ‘N’ Soil include Sir Walter and Palmetto buffalo turf.
Zoysia Grass: Highly tolerant to heat, drought tolerant, salt tolerant and requiring little maintenance and fertilisation, Zoysia is a shade tolerant grass variety that is a great all-rounder for someone with a busy lifestyle and variable yard. It also looks great; with a dense spread of fine-medium leaf blades. There are a number of different Zoysia variations on the market, some being Empire Zoysia, Nara native, Augusta Zoysia and Jari Blu.
Couch Grass: The most cost effective choice when it come to turf has to be couch. It might need a little extra love than other varieties but is durable and fast growing. It is soft, able to withstand high foot traffic and wear tear, and can look gorgeous with regular maintenance. Unfortunately most couch varieties require full sun and are not be a good choice for partly shaded yards. You will be mowing this turf more regularly as it can grow rapidly and to keep it looking green it needs an all year round fertilising regime. If you are an avid gardener and like keeping your lawn and garden beds separate you will need to be vigilant with couch as it often sprouts out runners. At Rock ‘N’ Soil we sell Queensland Blue Couch, Aussie Blue Couch, and Nullarbor Couch but there are even more varieties out in the market including a few hybrids.
Kikuyu Grass: Thin bladed like couch, Kikuyu is a fast-growing, soft, and hardy grass that is able to grow in poor soil and withstand the sweltering Australian heat. Best for a full sun yard, they have a high drought tolerance and will establish quickly. Kikuyu spreads so quickly that it can sometimes be seen as invasive; to avoid this it is best to go to a reputable supplier and ask for a Kikuyu that has been engineered for minimal seeding. This fast growth also means you will need to make sure you are following a regular mowing regime.
Remember to factor in your lifestyle when picking your lawn
Another thing to consider before choosing a turf is to think about your lifestyle. If you know the area is going to get a lot of foot traffic, it is important to choose a turf built for that. Perhaps you have pets and want something more hardy. You might have young kids and require a turf variety that is softer or you might require a lawn with a quick recovery if your kids enjoy playing sport in the backyard. Here is a quick breakdown of turf you might consider depending on lifestyle:
- Fine leaf: Turf varieties like TifTuf and Sir Grange are great for yards with full sun and part shade and are a great choice if you don’t like the look of thick bladed grass. Both varieties are pest, heat, disease, and weed resistant and are relatively easy to maintain. The only thing to note is that compared to other lawn choices in this category, Sir Grange Zoysia ranks slightly lower when it comes to wear resistance.
- Low maintenance: If you are looking for a bit of a set and forget lawn because you have a busy lifestyle Sir Grange Zoysia has been tried and tested to withstand the Australian climate. Once established, it is easy to maintain as it requires 75% less nitrogen than other common turf varieties and up to 50% less mowing.
- Budget choices: If you are on a bit of a budget, Nullarbor Couch is a great choice. It is heat and disease resistant and doesn’t need to be fertilised too regularly if following a proper watering schedule. Compared to other varieties it does require more mowing and maintenance and has a poor weed resistance, so it is best to decide whether you have enough time to put in the work to keep it looking green. Nullarbor Couch also has poor shade tolerance an is best for an area that receives 7-8 hours of full sunlight.
- Lawn proud: If you love getting out in the garden and are a bit of lawn enthusiast then TifTuf, Sir Grange Zoysia and Sir Walter are all great lawn types to work with. All these varieties are shade tolerant, pest and heat resistant, disease and weed resistant, require less maintenance than other varieties and need less watering than other varieties. They are a good investment for those who like spending time outdoors and are good when it comes to foot traffic. Sir Grange Zoysia is not as wear resistant but still beats out couch varieties.
Choose your lawn supplier
Once you have decided on which turf you think would work best for your space and your family, it is time to shop around for the right supplier. While this might not seem like an important step, it is actually one of the most important choices you can make to guarantee you receive a quality turf that will last a lifetime. To make an informed decision it is important to ask the following questions?
- Is the turf harvested and cut fresh on the day of pick-up/delivery: This is a must if you want to ensure your lawn survives and is quick to establish.
- Do you have any aftercare advice or a lawn care guide: This is a great way to check that your turf supplier knows what they are talking about. You might even pick up some variety-specific lawn care tips.
- Does the turf come with a quality guarantee: Reputable turf suppliers will put a quality guarantee behind their products and ensure you receive a healthy turf – free from pests that is freshly harvested.
- Do you produce high quality turf: This question gives the supplier the opportunity to give examples of places their turf has been used before ( For example, at Rock ‘N’ Soil one of the varieties of our turf was used in Suncorp Stadium) . This question also leaves it open for suppliers to highlight any awards, to chat about whether their turf is grown to any special standards or if their turf has been engineered or grown in a special way to benefit your yard.
If turf had a resume then this would be it! But if you’re still wanting more than we totally understand. That’s what our product info page is for! Perhaps you want to look further into which turf you should use for your yard? Keep tabs on our how to page for a blog on this topic coming soon. And if there’s anything else, remember you can contact the expert team at Rock n Soil any time!