Australian Grass Types: Identify & Choose The Right One For Your Lawn

Should you choose between Kikuyu, Couch, Buffalo or Zoysia grass for your lawn?
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Every Aussie enjoys a beautiful lawn as an addition to their house. After all, the yard is a place where you and your family can enjoy some quality time together, while still in the comfort of your own home. Growing the right type of grass, however, is important not just for appearance, but for making maintenance a breeze.

Every type of grass, though, has different features – some have a wider leaf blade, others are more drought tolerant. Selecting the right grass type for your lawn needs to be done after taking into consideration your lifestyle, the climate in your area and some other factors.

So, as a professional gardening service company, we’re here to help you pick the best grass type that suits you, based on what you want and can provide as care for your lawn. In this line of thought, let’s take a look at Australia’s most popular grass varieties and how they compare to one another.

Common grass types in Australia

Based on our experience, we’ve noticed that most Australians have one out of four grass types growing on their lawn. Therefore, it appears that the four most common types of grass are Zoysia grass, Kikuyu grass, Couch grass and Buffalo grass. How to grow a beautiful lawn, based on the variety you’ve chosen, you can learn below.

Sir Walter Buffalo Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)

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Buffalo grass is known for the durability and ease of upkeep, however, homeowners have had problems with the wide leaf blade and its scratchiness in particular.

The Sir Walter grass was created in Australia in 1998 and since then around 450,000 Australian homes have planted this grass in their lawns.

Thankfully, with the recent introduction of soft leaf Buffalo grass, you can have a durable and easy to maintain lawn that can take a bit of neglect and still survive.

The soft and broad leaves are a great choice if you have pets and kids running around and rolling in them.

Some of our favourite buffalo grass varieties are Sir Walter, Palmetto, Sapphire and Matilda. We can say that Sir Walter Buffalo grass is, in fact, on top of Australian homeowners.

Characteristics


  • Durable and soft
  • Easy to upkeep
  • Resistant to weeds
  • Wide leaf blade that do not irritate the skin
  • Drought and shade tolerant
  • Cost is atround A$ 11 per square meter

Zoysia Grass (Zoysia)

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While Zoysia grass is a bit harder to establish at first, it is the perfect sort of grass to grow in your sunny backyard.

It develops a thick carpet that few weeds can penetrate, which is ideal if you’re looking for a grass that requires little weeding and looks good.

During summer, Zoysia has a light to medium green colour. Because of its nature to grow very thick, it tends to develop thatch. That’s why you will have to aerate and dethatch it in early spring to ensure proper growth.

For Australia, we’re recommending deep watering in order to form large, drought-tolerant roots. Keep in mind, though, that this variety does not tolerate cold.

A good Zoysia type of grass, like Empire, will cost you around A$ 12.50 per square meter.

Characteristics


  • Durable and dense
  • Fairly low-maintenance
  • Traffic resistant
  • Tolerates heat, but can’t handle cold
  • Prefers sun but tolerates light shade
Learn more from our: Guide to Zoysia Grass  

Kikuyu Grass (Pennisetum clandestinum)

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The Kikuyu grass is a very popular choice among Australian homeowners, as well and that’s no coincidence.

The reason for its widespread popularity is that the turf is though and it repairs quite quickly from damages. The Kikuyu grass is also soft and light green, making it ideal for the kids’ outdoor activities.

The most popular variety of Kikuyu grass is the Eureka type, which can stand considerable damage and still recover. If the soil in your area tends to retain water frequently, this variety is the one for you, as it can still thrive in these conditions.

In warm climates, the green colour is maintained year-round, while in colder climates, the Eureka Kikuyu grass will keep its green colour until early winter.

Cost before installation is starting from A$ 7 per square meter before planting.

Characteristics


  • Grows well only in full sun
  • It’s invasive and it hardly sticks to designated areas
  • Cheap initially, expensive to maintain
  • Needs to be mowed often
  • Fairly pest- and disease-resistant

Couch Grass (Cynodon dactylon)

Couch grass
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Couch is a type of grass that is widely spread in sports fields and parks, but it can also be seen in highly manicured front lawns.

Couch grass is an aggressive grower, so it requires a lot of mowing and upkeep to look presentable.

As this grass is highly susceptible to pest infestations you will have to examine it regularly and take care of any intruders. In other words, you will have more maintenance duties than usual.

Still, couch grass has a fine and soft leaf, which can make up for the higher maintenances, so it’s worth considering this type of grass after all.

A Winter Green variety of Couch grass will cost you anything from A$ 6 per square meter to A$ 8. Other popular varieties that you may find are the Santa Ana Couch Grass and the Greenleas Park.

Characteristics


  • Susceptible to weeds and pests
  • Suitable for large areas
  • Cannot tolerate shade
  • Can handle huge amounts of traffic

How to choose the best grass for your lawn

Choosing the best grass type for your lawn isn’t an easy job. There are costs of initial installation, maintenance cost and different features of each grass variety to consider. Still, we hope you can help by outlining some of the main factors that will aid you in making your final decision.

  • Maintenance – Possibly the most important aspect, the amount of maintenance you will have to do along with your other daily tasks. If you’re looking to do as little maintenance as possible and still enjoy a good-looking lawn, then Sir Walter Buffalo Grass can be the one for you. Zoysia grass is also low-maintenance and a good choice for your front or backyard. Choosing Kikuyu or Couch grass, though, will require more maintenance than usual. While they’re fairly easy to grow, both Kikuyu and Couch grass require frequent weeding, mowing and pest inspections. There is also, of course, the possibility to enjoy these two without sacrificing your free time by hiring a professional gardener when needed.
  • Budget – The amount of money that you’re willing to spend can also direct you to the type of grass that is best to invest in. Given that all four types have similar prices, the cost of maintenance may vastly differ. You need to consider if you will be solely responsible for the maintenance of the grass, whether high- or low-maintenance, or you will rely on additional help. This will reflect on the amount of money you’ll have to spend to keep the lawn in good shape and free of weeds all the time.
  • Appearance – Choosing a specific type of grass will also determine whether you will be looking at a darker or a lighter shade of green every time you look out the window. For dark green lawns go with Couch grass or Buffalo grass. For medium to light green lawns, the Zoysia grass type is a perfect choice, leaving you with Kikuyu grass in case you want a light green coloured lawn.

Need help choosing the perfect type of grass?

Fantastic Gardeners can help you with all your lawn related needs!

Book Today

For more information about how we can help visit our main site.

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