Using the right type of turf for your home can make all the difference in the appearance of your garden. However, not all turf is made equal.
Some turfs perform better in cooler climates, while some perform better in hot and humid areas. We’ve covered the pros, cons and growing techniques for the five most popular types of grass in Australia 2020.
Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash
5 Types of Turf in Australia
1. Buffalo Turf
Native to North America, Buffalo Grass is a popular choice for many Australian backyards, growing to roughly 20cm at its tallest. This grass is extremely drought-tolerant making it great for those living in harsher Australian climates, such as Queensland or the Northern Territory.
Since its discovery, Buffalo grass has been genetically modified to take on a softer appearance and texture.
Pros of buffalo turf:
- Drought resistant.
- Low maintenance and hardy once established.
- Requires infrequent mowing, especially during cooler months.
Cons of buffalo turf:
- Can be hard to grow when planted at non-optimal times.
- May look more brown during colder months.
How to grow buffalo turf.
The ideal time to sow your buffalo grass is in spring, when the weather is warm and rain is more frequent. You can grow the turf from seed or sod, whichever is available at your local nursery.
As this type of turf is low maintenance, you’ll want to sow your seeds, as well as water and fertilise, every spring to keep your lawn looking its best.
2. Couch turf.
Once considered a weed because of its fast growth and spread, couch turf is now known for its soft blade and dark green colouring. Those who live in coastal areas, or have a pool, will benefit from this type of turf as it has a high salt tolerance.
However, if your yard is shaded, you may struggle to grow couch grass as it requires a high level of sunshine to thrive.
Pros of couch turf:
- Drought tolerant.
- Grows best in direct sunlight.
- Tough, so able to withstand high volumes of traffic.
- High salt tolerance.
Cons of couch turf:
- Can be challenging to grow in cooler climates.
- Does not perform well in shaded areas.
- Grows aggressively, so needs regular maintenance.
How to grow couch turf.
Couch turf is best planted in direct sunlight as it struggles to absorb sunlight due to its genetic makeup. For best results, sow your grass seeds in spring, but beware, this type of turf grows fast!
3. Zoysia turf.
Zoysia turf comes in many different varieties. Depending on your location and climate, different species of zoysia grass will perform better. It’s easy to look after, needing little water to thrive even in extreme weather conditions.
Its soft, thin blade makes it the perfect choice for those after a family friendly turf. In the warmer months, zoysia turf will require mowing every 7 to 21 days, however this frequency decreases dramatically during the cooler seasons.
Pros of zoysia turf:
- Drought tolerant.
- Holds colour even though cooler seasons.
- Low maintenance; doesn’t require regular fertilisation or watering after establishment.
Cons of zoysia turf:
- Struggles to grow in frosty conditions.
- Takes longer to become fully established than other turf varieties.
How to grow zoysia turf.
The best time to plant any type of zoysia grass is during the warmer seasons, as it will decrease establishment time. Zoysia grass is best laid as sod, on good-quality soil with frequent watering until established. To ensure you have the greenest lawn on the block, fertilise annually, preferably in the cooler months.
4. Kikuyu turf.
Kikuyu is a common choice for large fields with high activity, such as sporting ovals. This type of turf loves the sun and is extremely tolerant to wear and tear, repairing itself within days of the damage being done. Despite its popularity, kikuyu is still listed as a weed in Australia due to its invasive habits, often overtaking garden beds and brickwork.
Pros of kikuyu turf:
- Drought tolerant.
- Repairs quickly.
- Easy to establish.
Cons of kikuyu turf:
- Requires weekly mowing in the summer months.
- Can be invasive.
How to grow kikuyu turf.
Kikuyu turf can be easily planted from seed, taking just under two weeks to begin germination. For the best results, sow your seeds during the warmer months, when the temperature is between 18 to 29 degrees. Water frequently until grass is fully established.
5. Fescue turf.
If you’re looking for a turf which will thrive in the cooler climates, look no further than fescue turf. This hardy grass can withstand frost and even light snow. However, its versatility isn’t just bound to climate. Fescue turf makes the perfect household lawn, but can also be grown to feed livestock.
Pros of fescue turf:
- Tolerant to cold climate.
- Low maintenance grass.
Cons of fescue turf:
- Can be coarse.
- Susceptible to pests and diseases.
How to grow fescue turf.
The ideal time to grow fescue turf is during autumn, as it is a cool season grass it benefits from the extra moisture brought by cooler nights. It can grow from seeds with ease, but ensure to water it daily until growth occurs.
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