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The Lawn Guide
Lawn Selection Guide

'New Content'

By Kate Wall

Choosing the right type of lawn for your situation can be a daunting task. Get it right and you will have a very satisfying high performance lawn which is not hard to keep looking good. Get it wrong and it will be a constant struggle to keep it green and lush. Different grass types do not only provide a different look to a lawn, they are also best suited to different situations. This lawn selection guide will assist with choosing a lawn type based on the type of use the lawn will receive and the amount of sun or shade the lawn gets.

The first step in choosing a turf variety is to establish how much sun or shade your lawn area will get. Many lawn areas will be a mixture of sunny and shady areas. The shady section of the lawn will determine what type of grass you will be able to grow. All types of grass are tolerant of full sun (with varying water needs), but as the amount of shade increases, the choice of lawn types decreases. If only small areas of the lawn are shady, you may find making a garden bed in these areas allows greater choice of lawn types for the rest of the lawn.

Assuming that most areas in Australia receive 10 hours of sunlight per day, 65% shade will mean the area is in shade for six and a half hours per day. Evaluating your shade is best done in winter when your garden is likely to be shadier than it is in summer.

Calculating the amount of light a lawn will receive under a tree is a little more difficult as the quality of the sunlight is dappled rather than direct sun or shade. If the shadow created by the tree is dappled with spots of direct sunlight or very bright, it will allow a less shade tolerant lawn variety to grow there, however this is still a long way from full sun.

The amount and type of wear a lawn will receive is also an important consideration in choosing a lawn variety. Different types of grass have different resistance to wear. In addition, a lawns ability to resist wear decreases as the amount of shade increases. For example, Prestige® Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘PAL42’ PBR turf will withstand heavy wear to 45% shade but only light wear to 65% shade.

Wear and tear on a lawn results from heavy foot traffic, sports activities, active dogs and children playing on the grass. Where a track is worn into the grass from constant traffic along a certain path, it may be best to consider laying a permanent path in that area as all lawn types will struggle to do well under constant heavy wear.

Sporting fields, playgrounds, and public use areas are considered as high wear areas and will need a turf type which can stand up to high wear. Active dogs and children playing, or regular small social gatherings on a domestic lawn will be considered as moderate wear circumstances. Weekend to occasional play on a domestic lawn will be considered as low wear. In very high wear situations such as dogs digging and regular vehicle traffic you may be better off choosing Scuff Turf™ for extra protection of the root zone of the grass.

Once you have established your shade level and wear level, you can use the table below to determine which lawn type will best suit your circumstances. Lawn varieties included in the comparison table below include: Prestige® Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘PAL42’ PBR (Buffalo), Sapphire® Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘B12’ PBR (Buffalo), Palmetto® Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘SS100’ PBR (Buffalo), Empire™ Zoysia japonica ‘SS500’ PBR (Zoysia), Nara™ Zoysia macrantha ‘MAC03’ PBR (Zoysia), Kenda®Pennisetum clandestinum ‘KIK203’ PBR (Kikuyu) and Stadium®Cynodon dactylon ‘WGP3’ PBR (Couch).

Shade Percentage 65% Shade 45% Shade 30% Shade 15% Shade Full Sun
Very High Wear Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu
High Wear Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo or Sapphire® Buffalo Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia or Nara™ Zoysia Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu
Moderate Wear Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo or Sapphire® Buffalo Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia or Nara™ Zoysia Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu
Low Wear Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo or Sapphire® Buffalo (Sapphire® will tolerate 70% shade) Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia or Nara™ Zoysia Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia or Nara™ Zoysia Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu (Stadium® and Kenda® will tolerate up to 20% shade) Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu
Very Low Wear Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo or Sapphire® Buffalo (Sapphire® will tolerate 70% shade) Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia or Nara™ Zoysia Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia or Nara™ Zoysia Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu (Stadium® and Kenda® will tolerate up to 20% shade) Palmetto® Buffalo, Prestige® Buffalo, Sapphire® Buffalo, Empire™ Zoysia, Nara™ Zoysia, Stadium® Couch or Kenda® Kikuyu

Other considerations which will influence your turf choice include:

Drought tolerance: Empire™ Zoysia and Nara™ Zoysia are the most drought tolerant of the varieties shown. As wear on a lawn increases, so too does its need for additional water and fertiliser. The Buffalo grasses will have less drought tolerance when grown in full sun as opposed to part shade.

Cold tolerance: Kenda® Kikuyu is the best cold tolerant grass for high wear situations. Both Empire™ Zoysia and Nara™ Zoysia are highly cold tolerant and will hold winter colour better than the buffalo grasses. For shade lawns, both Palmetto® and Prestige® grass have good winter colour.

Maintenance: Empire™ Zoysia and Nara™ Zoysia are by far the lowest maintenance varieties available requiring significantly less mowing, watering, fertilising and pest control than any other lawn type. All varieties of lawn will require more maintenance in high wear situations than they would in low wear situations.

Appearance: The various grass types do have a slightly different look and feel. Where other factors have not eliminated choice of turf, the look and feel of each variety should be used to influence your final turf choice. Some people prefer the finer leaf of the Empire™ Zoysia and Nara™ turfs. Within the buffalo grasses, Sapphire® has a slightly blue tinge and a fine leaf, Prestige® has the richest deep green colour and Palmetto® has a beautiful green colour and soft texture.

Other factors: While Empire™ Zoysia is a little lower maintenance, Nara™ Zoysia is the only all purpose Australian native lawn grass.

Please note: Where 'New Content' is written at the top of an article this content has been added by the new owners of this website. If 'New Content' is not written, the information is from the previous site owner.





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