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Lawn Care and Maintenance Tips: Picking the Perfect Grass Seed to Grow the Lushest Lawn

grass seed

Growing the perfect lawn can be quite therapeutic and it all starts with choosing the right grass to seed. But if you overlook this groundwork, it could end up as a source of frustration. It is always helpful to view your lawn as a long-term investment. Not only will it be a beautiful space for you and your family, but it can also add to the value of your property and help the environment. So here are all of the things you should know before picking the grass seed to use:

Consider the weather conditions and your local environment

Grass is generally categorised by the climate of the region where they thrive best. Warm-season grass achieves its peak in temperatures between 25° to 32°C and might grow dormant or turn brown when it gets colder. It requires full sun to flourish. Cool-season grass, on the other hand, grows the most when temperature ranges from 18° to 24°C. It is more tolerant to shade but prone to heat and drought stress. Base your decision on the temperature of your neighbourhood for the majority of the year.

It is also important to conduct a soil test before establishing your yard as even if you have selected the ideal grass seed, it might end up being a lackluster lawn if your soil pH is incorrect. Most turfgrasses thrive in well-aerated soil with a slightly acidic pH of 6 to 7.5. Soil type will also affect watering practices and the number of essential nutrients available for your grass to grow. You would need to make adjustments as necessary before you start seeding.

Consider your lifestyle

Once you’ve determined the grass type suitable for planting in your area, select the right species that can survive the intended use of the yard. Is it going to be a recreational area for sports, kids, or pets, or will it be a visual backdrop that is rarely walked on? Consider how much wear and tear your lawn will experience as grasses have different tolerance to foot traffic.

Another factor that will help you pick the perfect grass would be the maintenance it would require to flourish. Different species have different needs and some can be more demanding than others in terms of irrigation, mowing, and fertiliser. Ask yourself how much time and resources are you willing to set aside to grow your verdant yard.

Here are Eight of the best Grass seeds to choose from:

Cool season Grasses:

Fine Leaf Fescue – It produces a dense, upright, dark green turf.

Fine Leaf Fescue grass
  • Texture: Fine
  • Germination time: Medium-slow
  • Shade tolerance: Good
  • Drought resistance: Excellent among all cool season grasses
  • Traffic resistance: Fair, but not for heavy wear.
  • Optimum height: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches
  • Pros: Needs little maintenance, ability to deal with frost and snow, fine leaf fescue also has great drought and disease resistance.
  • Cons: Loses color in drought; may spread undesirably, needs well-drained soil, fungal issues tend to occur in coastal and high moisture regions

Kentucky Bluegrass – Sometimes called the “king of lawn grasses”, provides you with a finely textured, deep green lawn.

Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Texture: Medium
  • Germination time: Slow
  • Shade tolerance: Fair, preference for full-sun
  • Drought resistance: Fair
  • Traffic resistance: Good
  • Optimum height: 2 to 3-1/2 inches,
  • Pros: Fills in bare spots on its own, tolerates harsh winters, adapts well to most conditions, can be used for pasture, can be used for playgrounds and sports (you can play cricket, footy and chasey to your heart’s content!)
  • Cons: Intolerant of shade, prone to thatch, favorite food of grubs, when exposed to prolonged hot, dry weather, bluegrass will go dormant and its color will fade, will need a complete lawn maintenance routine to look its absolute best (although not often!)

Tall Fescue – This is a durable, bunch-type grass that produces dark green, finely textured lawn.

Tall Fescue grass
  • Texture: Medium coarse
  • Germination time: Medium-slow
  • Shade tolerance: Good, best for areas with lots of sunshine
  • Drought resistance: Good
  • Traffic resistance: Excellent
  • Optimum height: 2 to 3-1/2 inches, does not tolerate a close mowing height;
  • Pros: Not prone to thatch, tolerant of drought and heat, good pest tolerance, less fertilizer and water than some other cool-season grasses, adapted to a wide range of soil types, it stays green in moderate climates, and continues growing all year, increasing its wear tolerance.
  • Cons: Doesn’t spread into bare areas, prone to thinning, may appear clumpy

Perennial Ryegrass –  a medium textured grass with great cold weather tolerance. It establishes very quickly and is a particularly hardy variety, a favourite of sports clubs throughout Southern Australia.

Perennial Ryegrass
  • Texture: Fine-coarse
  • Germination time: Fast
  • Shade tolerance: Fair
  • Drought resistance: Good
  • Traffic resistance: Excellent
  • Optimum height: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches
  • Pros: Tolerates traffic well, germinates and establishes quickly, newer varieties are also more resistant to disease and pests, helps protect slower-growing grass species when mixed with other varieties, perfect for use around schools, sports fields, and in park settings
  • Cons: Doesn’t fill in bare spots on its own, poor tolerance of temperature extremes, works best when included in a mixture, not as shade-tolerant as some other cool season grasses

Warm season grasses

Bermuda grass – valued for its exceptional heat and drought tolerance and a capacity to withstand heavy use and recuperate quickly.

Bermuda grass
  • Texture: Fine-coarse
  • Germination time: Slow—use plugs or sod, can be planted as a seed
  • Shade tolerance: Poor
  • Drought resistance: Excellent
  • Traffic resistance: Excellent
  • Optimum height: 1 to 2 inches
  • Pros: Vigorous spreader, quickly recovers from wear, hybrid types are fine textured and less coarse, the preferred grass for athletic fields and golf course tee areas, it stays green all winter in frost-free climates.
  • Cons: Intolerant of shade, prone to thatch, invades beds, may be too aggressive and can require more maintenance than other grasses, mow at least every fortnight, monthly fertilization might be needed during peak growth, goes dormant and turns brown during winter through much of its growing region

Zoysia grass – known for its ability to stand up to heat, drought, heavy foot traffic and a variety of other challenges. It can deliver a beautiful, dense lawn with very little input from you.

Zoysia grass
  • Texture: Medium
  • Germination time: Slow—use plugs or sprigs
  • Shade tolerance: Fair
  • Drought resistance: Good
  • Traffic resistance: Good
  • Optimum height: 1 to 2 inches
  • Pros: Effective at choking out weeds, forms a very dense carpet of grass beneath your feet, somewhat tolerant of shade, drought tolerant, low water and maintenance requirements
  • Cons: Long dormancy, requires annual dethatching or scalping, slow to establish and recover from wear, not well-suited to winter overseeding, turns brown in winter

St. Augustine grass – robust perennial grass works well for pastures and lawns in warm coastal areas, creating a dense carpet of coarse, textured grass blades even in shady areas. Also known as Buffalo grass in Australia but a completely different variety from the one originating in North America.

St Augustine grass
  • Texture: Coarse
  • Germination time: Slow—use plugs or sod
  • Shade tolerance: Fair
  • Drought resistance: Poor
  • Traffic resistance: Fair
  • Optimum height: strictly 2 to 3 inches
  • Pros: Requires moderate maintenance, reasonably tolerant of shade,  thrives in nearly all well-draining soil types. It tolerates extreme summer heat and keeps its color with supplemental watering, competes well with weeds
  • Cons: Susceptible to chinch bugs, poor cold tolerance, susceptible to disease, relatively poor wear tolerance and won’t thrive in an area with repeated foot traffic, cutting too much will cause it to thin while taking off too little results in thatch.

Buffalo grass –  Originating in the United States, it was given the name “Buffalo Grass” because it grew under the feet of millions of American bison, often referred to as buffalo. It is best known as a drought and heat resistant grass.

Buffalo grass
  • Texture: Fine
  • Germination time: Medium—use plugs
  • Shade tolerance: Poor, but new Buffalo lawn variants have the best shade tolerance
  • Drought resistance: Excellent
  • Traffic resistance: Poor, new variants are now able to withstand wear and tear
  • Optimum height: 2 inches
  • Pros: Tolerates climatic extremes, requires little fertilizer, pest control, or mowing, tolerates alkaline soil,
  • Cons: Slow to re-establish, goes dormant in winter and mid-summer (if not irrigated), requires regular dethatching as it is known for thick thatch layer which continuously builds-up over the years, the seed and sod is quite expensive

No matter what your grass type, Fresh Lawns will be able to take care of it. Get a quote in 60 seconds and book online with no hassle. Get a quote now.

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