There are several varieties of grass available for Perth gardeners – probably more than most people might imagine – although your options are limited if you have a garden that is particularly exposed or shaded, or if the soil is of poor quality. With a little bit of knowledge about the pros and cons of each type of grass, you can make the most suitable decision for your landscaping project, taking account of your garden’s specific features and how much time you are able to devote to its maintenance.
Below is a selection of three of the most popular grasses for local gardens (each of which has several ‘sub-types’):
Buffalo is a perennial favourite for Aussie home turfs – and for good reason. This grass, which includes the ever-popular Palmetto and Sir Walter types, is a low-maintenance, hardy variety with good colour and coverage. Apart from the softer, finer-leafed, slower-growing and more shade-tolerant Sapphire type, buffalo is generally suitable for lawns that are subject to heavy traffic.
Kikuyu is a vigorous, hard-wearing, fast-growing, relatively easy-care and low-cost grass that can tolerate scorching summers, shade, dryness and thousands of trampling feet and paws (making it a popular choice for sports ovals and playing fields). But it’s notorious for ‘taking over’ yards and surrounding beds as it propagates so rapidly, and it cannot thrive in prolonged periods of cold (although the Kenda type can withstand brief snaps of frost, and doesn’t produce very much seed).
Zoysia has finer leaves and tends to be a slow grower (less mowing, but it takes longer to recover from wear and damage). It is an attractive, reasonably drought-resistant grass with high density, meaning a more abundant lawn with fewer weeds, however it tends to discolor in suboptimal climates and is also prone to problems such as thatch and patch disease.
Rolling out the green carpet?
The great thing about laying turf is that it’s an ‘instant lawn’ – none of this delayed gratification of waiting for your carefully-sown seeds to sprout and then having to tenderly nurture the young leaves before allowing anyone to set foot on the new grass. Turf is a costly option but many people think the extra expense is worth it for the pleasure of a fresh lush lawn that can be used within a couple of weeks of laying it. However, unless you are a seasoned garden expert, it is always advisable to consult a trusted turf specialist before forking out, as the purchasing and installing of turf should be a major aspect of your overall landscaping project; not a rushed afterthought.
Or the best kind of leaves for your ‘lock and leave’?
Artificial grass has been gaining popularity, particularly for homeowners for whom ‘low maintenance’ is top priority. It’s a great choice for regions with water shortages or for gardens that get very little sunlight, and after a high initial outlay, it looks good all year round without any watering, weeding or mowing required.