Turf options

In Western Australia, installing a warm season turf grass correctly can not only help you to save money on watering, it will also help cool your home. When selecting a turf for your home, look for a hardy warm season turf grass.

The following varieties have been identified as having good drought tolerance and are suitable for Western Australia's warm conditions:

Soft Leaf Buffalo grasses

  • Soft leaf - Non irritant
  • Disease, weed and fungus resistant
  • Low allergy
  • Low to medium invasiveness
  • Low maintenance level
  • Moderate to good wear, recuperative self repairing and green-up rate
  • Requires minimum 2 hours direct sunlight daily
  • Drought tolerant
  • Grows in sandy soils and clays

Soft leaf Buffalos should ideally be mown every 7 - 10 days at a height of approx. 15-20mm during summer and in winter mow every 3-5 weeks at a similar height. We recommend applying a quality wetting agent and/or retainer (preferably three times a year at the beginning of summer, mid-summer and early spring) will improve water penetration and retention in the soil.
 

Couch Grasses

  • Soft leaf - Non irritant
  • Moderately invasive
  • Moderate maintenance required
  • Excellent wear, recuperative and green up rate
  • Disease and pest resistant
  • Requires minimum 4-5 hours direct sunlight daily
  • Drought tolerant
  • Grows in sandy soils and clays

Couch grasses should ideally be mown every 10-14 days at a height of approx. 10 - 12mm during summer and in winter mow every 3-5 weeks raising the mowing height to approx. 12-16mm. An even ground is important and annual to biannual scarifying might be necessary, ideally during the spring months. We recommend applying a quality wetting agent and/or retainer (preferably three times a year at the
beginning of summer, mid-summer and early spring) will improve water penetration and retention in the soil.
 

Kikuyu Grasses

  • Soft leaf - Low irritant
  • Medium maintenance due to invasive nature
  • High thatching if not mown regularly
  • Excellent wear, recuperative and green-up rate
  • Excellent disease and pest resistance
  • Kikuyu Turf requires minimum 5-6 hours direct sunlight daily
  • Drought resistant
  • Grows in sandy soils and clays

Kikuyu Turf should ideally be mown every 10-14 days at a height of approx. 12-16mm during summer and in winter mow every 3-5 weeks and raise the mowing height to approx. 16-20mm. We recommend applying a quality wetting agent and/or retainer (preferably three times a year at the beginning of summer, mid-summer and early spring) will improve water penetration and retention in the soil.
 

Zoysia Grasses

  • Soft leaf - Non irritant
  • Excellent resistance to weeds, pests and diseases
  • Excellent cold hardiness
  • Easy weed control
  • Low water usage
  • Less mowing
  • Drought tolerant
  • Grows in sandy soils and clays

Zoysia should ideally be mown every 14 - 21 days at a height of approx. 15-20mm during summer and in winter mow every 3-5 weeks at a similar height. We recommend applying a quality wetting agent and/or retainer (preferably three times a year at the beginning of summer, mid-summer and early spring) will improve water penetration and retention in the soil.
 

Queensland Blue

  • Soft leaf - Non-irritant Non Invasive
  • Low maintenance
  • Excellent resistance to weeds, pests and diseases
  • Less thatch
  • Immaculate Appearance and colour
  • Requires 5-6 hours of sunlight per day
  • Drought tolerant
  • Grows in sandy soils and clays
Queensland Blue should ideally be mown every 10-14 days at a height of approx.10-13mm during summer and in winter mow every 4-5 weeks and raise the mowing height to approx. 14-16mm. Verti-mowing or scarifying in spring is recommended every 2-3 years. We recommend applying a quality wetting agent and/or retainer (preferably three times a year at the beginning of summer, mid-summer and early spring) will improve water penetration and retention in the soil.
 

Velvetene

  • Grows in clay or sandy soils
  • Soft leaves provide a non-itching surface
  • Non-invasive to garden beds.
  • Grows in full sun or with a minimum of 4 hours sun and tolerates filtered shade areas
  • Outstanding deep colour with minimal fertiliser
  • Grows in a wide range of soils from pH 4 to 9.5
  • Can be maintained with poor quality water sources
  • Tolerates high salt environments
  • Environmentally friendly
Velvetene should ideally be mown every 7 - 14 days at a height of approx. 10 - 12mm during summer and in winter mowing every 21 - 35 days at a height of approx. 15 - 18mm. Apply fertiliser in Spring and Autumn height 15 - 18mm. Applying a quality wetting agent or retainer at least twice a year.
 
Planting your new lawn

We recommend the following steps be taken when planting your lawn:
  1. Clear the site - Remove all debris, for example, rocks, sticks and tree roots and level the area with the back of a rake or levelling board to create a smooth and consistent soil surface approximately 30 - 50mm below the level of paths and driveways.
  2. Install irrigation - You will need to design and install an efficient irrigation system. A Waterwise Garden Irrigation Specialist can provide advice, or design and install a system, to ensure your new lawn will receive the right amount of water on your sprinkler roster day.
  3. Soil preparation - Incorporate soil amendments, appropriate to your soil type, (for example by adding clay or red sands to your grey sands), working them into the top 15cm of soil. Add a quality soil wetting agent and a moisture retainer if possible (see your Turf Grower for advise) and lightly apply an organic, slow release fertiliser and water in well. This will provide a healthy base for your lawn.
  1. Lay your turf - Begin by laying the turf along the longest straight edge, for example a driveway, butting the edges tightly together without stretching the turf or overlapping. Stagger the joints like brickwork and use a sharp knife to cut the turf where required.

    If you are installing turf on a sloped surface place the turf along the slope, not down the slope and peg or stake the turf where required to keep it in place.

    After laying the turf, use a roller to encourage soil to turf contact, lightly apply a slow release fertiliser and water thoroughly. Reapply a light feed of organic fertiliser such as pelletised chicken manure, 14 days after laying.
  1. Watering - A new lawn requires extra water to establish in the first few weeks. You are eligible to apply for an exemption for extra watering, to find out more or to apply contact the Water Corporation on 13 10 39. For a recommended watering schedule visit watercorporation.com.au. Once the exemption period finishes, you will need to revert to your watering roster.
  2. Mowing - Lightly mow your new lawn once you are certain that the roots have taken hold. In summer this is usually within 10 - 14 days of laying your turf.
     

Maintaining a healthy lawn

To keep your lawn in great condition it will require year round maintenance including watering, mowing, fertilising, top dressing, de-thatching and regularly applying a quality wetting agent and/or moisture retainer.

Watering

Many West Australian soils do not absorb water well. In fact they often become 'hydrophobic' meaning that they actually repel water. In addition to applying a soil wetting agent during the laying process, we highly recommend regular application at least three times a year, at the beginning of Spring, the beginning of summer and again mid to late summer, with application rates as recommended by the manufacturer.

Once your lawn is established you can only water once on your rostered watering day, either before 9am or after 6pm. It is generally best to water early in the morning as it allows the water to soak to the roots and be available throughout the day when it needs it most.

For how long you should have your sprinkler on to get a 10ml application of water to your lawn please go to   https://www.watercorporation.com.au/home/faqs/saving-water/how-long-should-i-have-my-sprinkler-on-for


Fertilising

By fertilising your lawn you are providing it with a range of nutrients for good health and growth. Apply a slow release fertiliser every two months during the warmer months and once during winter. It is important to note that when fertilising the recommended application rate is the maximum amount that should be applied. Remember that if you apply fertiliser excessively, whatever your lawn doesn't use washes into and affects the health of our waterways. http://www.fertilisewise.org.au/

Mowing

Mowing your lawn will help to keep it healthy and looking good. During summer your lawn will require more frequent mows (ensuring the blades are sharp) every 7-21 days to the height 10 to 20 mm depending on the variety. (Please refer to recommended heights as mentioned previously.)