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Perfect Your Lawn With the Best Grass Types in Australia
When you think of your perfect backyard, what details do you think of? We’d wager that most people think of the flowers they’d like or which fruit trees would look best. They might think of how they would organise their planters, and what vegetables they would grow and actually eat. But grass? Well, grass is grass is grass — it’s all the same. Right?
Choosing the right grass variety for your backyard should be the first decision you make. It isn’t just about aesthetics; there are several benefits to growing appropriate lawn grass for your backyard’s particular needs.
- Save on your water bill with drought-tolerant grass
- Protect your pets and kids from insects with pest-resistant grass
- Set and forget with low-maintenance grass
- Avoid dead patches with warm-season grass that thrives in the full sun
We’re going to assume that artificial grass is out of the question — nothing feels so good as soft grass under bare feet.
From Buffalo grass to Zoysia, to Kikuyu or Couch grass, in this guide, we’re going to teach you how to pick the perfect grass type for your backyard. We’ll do it by covering two major topics:
- 5 factors you need to consider before choosing turf for your backyard
- 4 different types of grass that thrive in Australia, and the pros and cons of each turf
If you’d like a more specific turf recommendation, give our quick and easy lawn quiz a go.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing Backyard Turf
Every species of grass is unique and thrives or wilts under different conditions. Before we look at different types of lawn grass, you need to be clear about what kind of backyard you currently have. Ask yourself these questions, and the answers will help you decide which turf grass benefits you the most.
What are you using your lawn for?
You might just want a wide-open soft-leaf lawn for your kids and pets to run around, or a lush green carpet for the decorative garden you’re meticulously designing.
Some grass species can thrive under heavy foot traffic, but others are more aesthetically pleasing. Knowing what you need from your grass will allow you to balance its aesthetic and practical properties.
What kind of soil do you have?
This is a tricky one. All species of grass need nutritious soil that drains well. You need to know what type of soil you currently have in your backyard before you lay your grass, because if it’s the wrong type for turf, you may have to prepare the area with the right soil.
We recommend loam soil. It’s a mix of silt, sand and clay, so it’s not too dense and not too light. It’s just the right consistency for water to drain out of, for nutrients to settle into, and for grass roots to spread out through.
You may also need some lawn fertiliser to get your grass growing fast and strong. Browse our lawn care shop for everything you might need.
What kind of climate do you live in?
Do you spend most of the year living under a baking-hot sun? Or do you have to contend with seasonal monsoons and flooding? Do your winters bring frost and hail? Maybe your weather has a bit of everything — Melbourne’s weather is famous for its hour-to-hour changes and four seasons in one day!
Understanding climate will define whether you need warm-season grasses with high drought tolerance, water-loving grasses that resist bug infestations, or self-repairing turf that can regrow after harsh-weather damage.
How much shade will your lawn have?
To better consider your site’s unique details, it’ll be more helpful to think of shade and sun exposure as separate considerations from climate. If you live in a regional house with a two-acre backyard and little tree coverage, your lawn will receive far more sun than if you live in a metropolitan suburb with a few square metres of lawn shaded by neighbouring houses.
Some grass species need hours of direct sunlight to thrive, while others are the opposite.
What’s your gardening style like?
If you’re a real green-thumb, you’ll be out tending your garden for an hour or more a day. But not everyone has the time for that — you might prefer something a bit more low maintenance.
Some grasses require constant care, and some are quite happy just to be mowed once in a while. Choose the right one to suit your gardening style, and you won’t have to worry about it browning and dying when you’re not looking.
What Is the Best Grass Type for Melbourne Backyards?
Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass
Sir Walter Buffalo grass is an Australian icon (to us, at least). This soft-leaf Buffalo grass is pleasant underfoot yet perfectly tough enough for runners and rowdy pets. This shade-tolerant turf is also extremely low-maintenance, and our Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo turf is resistant to droughts and pest infestations.
With all of its qualities, you won’t be surprised to learn that Sir Walter turf is one of Australia’s best-selling grass varieties. It’s practically ideal for all lawn types.
Learn more about Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo
TifTuf Bermuda Grass
TifTuf Bermuda turf is a great alternative to Sir Walter for backyards. Its dense growth and fine leaves make for hard-wearing, yet lusciously soft couch grass that’s as at home on the footy pitch as it is in the backyard. In fact, it’s one of our main recommendations for the golf courses and sports fields we’ve carpeted with turf.
Drought-resistant, frost-resistant and self-repairing, TifTuf Bermuda Couch grass is a fine choice for any backyard. Keep in mind, though, that it’s a fast grower and will need regular mowing and edging.
At Lilydale Instant Lawn, we’ve been working hard to develop and perfect our own strain of TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda turf. We’re proud to say our strain has been accredited with the Smart Approved WaterMark for its high drought tolerance — it’s the only strain in Australia to ever earn that credit.
Learn more about TifTuf Bermuda
Eureka Premium VG Kikuyu Grass
Kikuyu grass is a phenomenal all-rounder. Its high pest and disease resistance and ability to withstand waterlogging, allow it to survive heavy rains and floods and guard your home against the insects that follow. However, it’s also extremely tolerant to heat and drought.
The downside of this medium-leaf width grass is that the fast growth and self-repairing qualities that make it so hardy also make it high maintenance. Kikuyu grass needs to be regularly mowed to keep it from spreading where it doesn’t belong.
However, Lilydale Instant Lawn has an exclusive strain we call Eureka Kikuyu Premium VG. We’ve developed it ourselves. Lusher, hardier, softer and easier to maintain than regular Kikuyu, it’s well worth your consideration.
Learn more about Eureka Kikuyu Premium VG
Sir Grange Grass
Sir Grange is our most beautiful strain of lawn turf, and it’s perfect for decorative lawns and manicured backyards. Defined by its fine leaves, slow growth and low nutritional demands, Sir Grange zoysia grass gives gardeners plenty of leeway to sculpt the backyard of their dreams.
Although Sir Grange requires little mowing, it does require well-irrigated soil, as it will die if its roots get waterlogged.
Learn more about Sir Grange
Well, now you know how to choose the right grass turf for your backyard, all that’s left to do is grow it! We’ll help make that part easy for you. You might like to use our turf calculator to figure out how much turf you need to order, and then use our turf prepare and lay guide to make sure it sets in properly.
Need help or a second opinion? If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!