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What is the best turf grass for your home?

There are so many turf varieties available that it can be tempting to toss a coin or say “Eeny, meeny, miny, mo” in order to decide.

The most popular turf types are Kikuyu, Buffalo, Couch and Zoysia.

To make the decision easier for you, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself.

Where do you live?

As is the case with most plants, different varieties of turf are more suited to some areas than others.

Do you live in a cool or warm climate, inland or on the coast, in a temperate zone, or in the sub-tropics?

What is the rainfall pattern in your area; does the rain fall mostly in summer, in winter or fairly evenly all year round?

Will your lawn experience extreme weather events such as drought or water restrictions, waterlogging or flooding, searing heat or frost?

Will your lawn be exposed to full sun, filtered light or a mixture of sun and shade during the day?

Zoysia grasses such as Empire and Nara Native Zoysia are rated very high for drought tolerance and have medium to high shade tolerance. Buffalos can tolerate more shade than Kikuyu or Couch.

What is your yard’s soil type and pH? Some turf varieties are versatile enough to grow well in most soil types, while others prefer a sandy loam that is neutral, with a pH of 5.5-7.

Measure soil pH with a simple test kit available from your Local Garden Centre.

If the pH is outside the neutral range or contains a lot of sand or clay, you can use compost or lime to improve it before laying the turf of your choice. Read our guide to applying lime here.

 

What will you use the lawn for?

Your lawn should cater to the needs of your family, and that includes children and pets.

There’s not much point in having a large area of amazing-looking lawn if it causes irritation or a rash when it touches bare skin.

You might not know this, but some grasses have sharp, microscopic bristles to discourage insects. Look for varieties with soft, smooth leaves instead, such as Prestige Buffalo, Palmetto Buffalo or Sapphire Buffalo.

Also think about whether your lawn needs to be resistant to heavy foot traffic, backyard games, vehicles or digging by dogs.

The type of grass you would choose for a small area, such as a private courtyard, will not necessarily be the same as for a large area.

Schools and sports fields often use Kenda Kikuyu, OZTUFF Couch or Stadium Sports Couch, which are fast-growing, durable lawns that tolerate dry periods and prefer full sun.

What do you want your lawn to look like?

Turf varieties come in a range of shades, from bright or emerald green through to medium and dark green.

The colour can change with the seasons – some are more prone to yellowing than others – and how much nitrogen fertiliser you apply.

The shape and texture of the grass also differ between varieties, which can have broad or fine leaves.

 

How much time do you have to look after it?

Last but by no means least, think about how much time you will spend caring for your lawn.

If you’re looking for low maintenance, slow growing, water wise lawn, think about Empire Zoysia or Nara Native Zoysia.

If you enjoy more frequent mowing and have plenty of time to devote to regular lawn care, you might consider a Couch or Kikuyu.

More Help

If you’re still not sure which turf is most suitable, take a look at our Quick Lawn Selection Guide here. 

You could also enter your suburb or postcode into our turf finder here.

This will show you which varieties are available from our myhomeTURF suppliers in your area. You can then request a quote or contact them for further advice about choosing the turf variety that’s right for your needs.

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