Category Archives: Turf

Turf varieties for Subtropical regions

empire-qld

Zoysia grasses are quickly gaining popularity in Queensland and subtropical regions.

Their drought and humidity tolerance makes them an excellent choice, but one of the things that makes Zoysia stand above the rest is that it is more resistant to pests and diseases and best of all it is lower maintenance in these climates, they are slower growing and therefore less mowing is required.

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How to have the best looking lawn on the street

best_lawn

Drought and other factors can play a big part in how good or bad your lawn looks. But to keep your lawn looking great may be easier than you think, consistent and regular care is the secret. The question of where to start always comes up, this article will help you answer this and many other questions.

Click Here to find out how to keep your lawn looking great.

Common Lawn Problems

scalped-lawn

Yard too shady, are you mowing your lawn too short, or perhaps you’re over-watering your lawn. These are all very common lawn problems, and can be corrected or even prevented with the correct maintenance, and/or turf selection.

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Nara™ Native Turf – Doing extremely well in the US

Nara™ Zoysia, an Australian Native Turf, is doing tremendously well in the USA, making real waves in the Southern US. Nara™ Zoysia is Australia’s first all-purpose native turf, that is low maintenance and easy to establish and is ideal for domestic, commercial and coastal plantings. Many people have a natural tendency to prefer native plants, now those same people can enjoy a native lawn.

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Getting the right lawn for your home

With so many different varieties of turf available today, how do you know which is the right one for your home? Buffalo grass is one of the best lawn varieties available, but is it right for your lawn?

Firstly you will need to determine the requirements for your lawn and make your decision from there.

Click Here for more information on getting the right lawn for your home

Empire™ turf is a low maintenance lawn grass which gives you more time to relax

Empire™ turf is a low maintenance lawn grass which gives you more time to relax

Empire Zoysia

Aussies on most internet turf forums are discussing EZ Grass. This is the nick name for Empire™ Zoysia Turf. So what makes Empire™ so easy to look after?

Firstly we know how army worm and web worm can devastate lawns. Army worm and web worm prefer to eat couch, kikuyu and buffalo grass way before they’d ever resort to eating Empire™. In fact…

research shows that eating Zoysia is actually harmful to these lawn caterpillars. There is lots of research that Empire™ is far more drought tolerant than buffalo turf.

With it’s deep rhizomes it can survive dry far longer than most turf types but it’s the beautiful soft appearance that attracts most people to Empire.

House after house looking great year after year with such little effort. No wonder it’s getting such good raps from lawn professionals. People are amazed at how little thatch it produces and the fact that unlike many Zoysia types this lawn can easily be mown with any type of mower.

Now, if you value your time too much to be mowing and edging listen to these researched facts:

Empire™ turf needs a third of the mowing of kikuyu

Half as much as couch and…

30% less than buffalo grass.

Why mow when you could be doing more fun things like playing on your Empire™ lawn or relaxing.

Empire™ turf can be mown short or long allowing you to play Bocce or even back yard cricket. It is so wear tolerant that it’s often used for sporting venues and high-wear areas in parks. You can’t do that with buffalo.

Most lawns simply cannot tolerate the wide variety of climates that Empire™ can. It did the best in floods, it survived years of drought, it lives in cold temperatures that would easily kill all kikuyu and buffalo types. t loves the humidity of Queensland even if it is a wet year. It just gets far less disease and insect damage.

Empire™ performs with up to 40% shade,  it’s herbicide tolerance is legendary and best of all Empire™ will do well with much less fertilizer than all other grass types.

It has been proven to strengthen the soil more than other turf and if you need evidence to back these claims up just download the referenced research document .

There is always a BUT…

The BUT for Empire™ is not to lay it in winter in Sydney, Perth Adelaide and Melbourne as it will root out too slowly. Queensland is generally warmer so you can get away with it for most of the year. In the warmer months Empire™ strikes really quickly.

Whether it’s grubs, floods, drought, humidity, cold, disease, wear or scalping, Empire™ just keeps on surviving. Make your next lawn not only the most beautiful in the suburb, make it the toughest. Choose Empire™ Zoysia Turf.

Click here for more info on Empire Zoysia Turf

Erosion Control Methods – Turf is Tops

Erosion Control Methods – Turf is Tops 

Turf For Erosion Control

 

Research in Queensland is demonstrating how turf grass is an effective means of controlling and minimizing erosion. Turf grass is capable of reducing erosion by protecting the ground from the impact of rainfall. It also reduces the speed of runoff water, holds soil and sediment particles in place and enhances the ground’s ability to absorb water.

Turf is proving an effective means of erosion control on batters of a gradient less that 33.3 percent and stabilizing areas of concentrated flows such as channels and drains, provided the flow velocities do not exceed 1.5 m/s. If flows are higher, combining turf with geotextiles seems to be a well proven concept.

There have been studies showing turf and geotextile combinations once established can withstand up to 5.5 m/s depending on the geotextile.  With the invention of fast stapling devices it is now easy to secure turf in place. These devices are readily available in the USA, and are now becoming available in Australia.  Current research is investigating various methods of using these staples to secure turf both in small and big rolls.

Turf employed skillfully and/or in combination with other mitigation technologies can…read more

Choosing The Right Lawn For Your Situation

Choosing the right lawn for your situation depends on the level of shade, how much wear, desired maintenance, aesthetics, available water, where you live and off course cost.

Choosing The Right Turf

Firstly if you have more than 70% shade no true grass will work. Go instead for a ground cover such is the spreading fine leaf lily turf called Isabella® Liriope muscari ‘LIRF’ PBR. This is a mow once per year lawn that needs to be planted by plugs, or small pots.

If you have between 45% and 70 % shade you’ll want to choose a Buffalo type. Buffalo however does also work well in full sun, and is the most popular lawn type in Australia, so it ticks most of the boxes, and can be used in most situations.

Choosing which type of Buffalo can be confusing, particularly with all the advertising hype surrounding Buffalo turf. The most tested and proven types are un-doubtably Palmetto, Sir Walter, and Sapphire. All three are good lawns.

Research has shown Palmetto is clearly the lowest maintenance Buffalo, requiring far less mowing and edging, and it also has the best winter colour. In fact, it is the biggest selling lawn in the world.

Sir Walter is a solid Buffalo, and has become quite popular, but often it is more expensive than the others. Sapphire has the same basic benefits as Sir Walter but with a much finer leaf and according to department of Primary Industries shade research data, is the best in shade. These three types of buffalo are soft so they are low allergenic. Some buffalo types like the old common Sydney buffalo have Scratchy barbs further down the leaf so make sure you choose a soft one. Also avoid thatchy and spongey types.

As impressive as Buffalo is, there are some circumstances where other turf types are better. If you have a dog, and it’s a sunny yard with very little shade, then Kikuyu is the best. Kikuyu is also the cheapest grass, but be warned it is a lot of work.

Kenda Kikuyu has the best winter colour of any drought tolerant turf and best of all, it has 4 times as many underground runners, which really helps it cope with rampaging dogs. If you don’t have a dog in your back yard, go for another grass. (unless you love to use your mower?)

If you want the ultimate low maintenance drought tolerant lawn, go for a Zoysia. For full sun to 40% shade, this lawn will provide you with a lot more free time. Probably the most impressive things about a Zoysia Lawn, is the fact that they are more lawn grub resistant, and that they are so wear tolerant. There are 2 types widely sold in Australia. Empire is well known, and has the nick name EZ grass. It needs a third the mowing of Kikuyu, and 30% less than Buffalo. Nara, is the other, and it is Australia’s only instant lawn native turf. This Aussie native is real toughy, yet truly beautiful.

There are more lawn types than this, but most are not as suitable for home lawns except for very specific use. Couch due to its tendency to scalp, and poor home performance is best left for high maintenance sporting fields, and Tall fescue needs way too much water for the Australian home lawn, unless you live in a high rainfall colder climate.  Queensland Blue couch lets weeds in too easy, but it is pretty drought tolerant.

Click here for more detailed information about each lawn.

 

 

 

Watering and Fertilising Your Lawn

Watering and Fertilising Your Lawn

Just like people, your established lawn needs a feed and a drink to remain healthy. The key is to water and feed the right way. When done properly, it’s probably less than you think. Unless you live somewhere that gets very little summer rainfall such as Perth, you can get away without a watering system. Whether you use a hose and sprinkler, or a system, big deep waterings less frequently are much better than lots of small shallow irrigating. Sure sometimes water restrictions makes that hard, but if you can water deep, the roots grow deeper, making your lawn more drought tough.

Watering and Fertilising Tips For Your Lawn

With warm season turf like Buffalo, Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia, I usually let the lawn tell me when it’s thirsty. The leaves on the lawn will wilt slightly and that for me says water. On the east coast it usually takes 6 to 10 days without water in the heat of summer to do that. Then its time to water, but make sure it’s a deep water. This method uses far less water over a year than more frequent short watering. In fact I generally only water my lawns about 6 to 10 times per year. The rain does the rest.

Did you know research proved that a one or 2 year old lawn uses more water than many drought tolerant plants, but  a 4 year old lawn uses about half the water of plants. Its all about the deep watering, and deep roots. Soils often become water repelling; meaning no matter how much you irrigate the water won’t get into the soil properly. So make sure you use a wetting agent in Spring, and Summer. You can use a stand alone type, or you can try a fertilizer that comes with a wetting agent.

The best product to fertilise with is a good slow release fertiliser. The only thing better is one with a wetting agent. Slow release fertilizer will not burn your lawn, and it will keep working for 2 to 3 months. A standard fertiliser can burn, and only hangs around for a few days to a week, and often is dissolved into run off water, washing down drains and polluting our storm-water. Fertilise in Early Spring, then a lower application in Summer if you desire a darker green lawn at that time of the year.

Did you know the most important fertilise every year is the one in Autumn. It’s the one that gets your grass through the long winter months, and gives it enough energy to start growing again next spring.

For more detailed information download this watering and fertilising PDF

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Fertilising lawns in winter! Is it more important than spring and summer fertilising?

Fertilising lawns in winter!

Is it more important than spring and summer fertilising.

By Todd Layt

Most Aussies have been fertilising at the wrong times of the year. Highlighted in research,  our relatively warm winter climate, plus our change in turf types are reasons why we should be fertilising in winter, and less in Spring and Summer. This research conducted by Ozbreed has shown – even in frost prone areas – that it’s possible to keep Buffalo, Kikuyu and Zoysia turf green all year round when following optimum fertiliser applications and certain mowing practices. This research has designed recipes to keep these turf types green all year round in many parts of Australia, using specialized fertiliser formulations.

Fertilising Lawns

Most Australian studies of winter fertilising warm season turf have been conducted on couch turf, which in this study showed poor results. Most USA and other overseas research on winter fertilising has been conducted in regions that reach minus 10 Celsius or colder in winter, yet have warm temperatures for the rest of the year: regions such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia in the USA. In these regions winter fertilising can cause winter kill. In Australia, only climatic regions similar to Canberra, and Armidale get that cold and have the potential for winter kill if fertilised in winter. For the rest, like Melbourne, Sydney (Including frost affected Western Sydney where the research was conducted), Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane; this research unlocks the true potential of keeping lawns green in winter.

In brief, the research involved fertilising replicated plots of numerous turf types with many different timing combinations, using a specialized autumn and winter blend of slow and quick release fertiliser and iron. Earlier research highlighted that a product called 2 Spec Elevate from Globe, provided the best performance for winter colour compared to other fertilisers tested. Large areas around Ozbreed trial gardens were also tested, including shaded areas. Some areas were not fertilised at all, whilst others had either regular Autumn fertiliser, or heavy autumn fertiliser. Parts of these areas then either got no fertiliser in winter, or a heavy fertiliser in winter.

The results were unexpected…read more