Choosing the right lawn seed
There are so many different kinds of front and back lawns all around Australia, including lawns in sun or shade and areas that are a playground for pets and kids. People also have their own preferences for the type of lawn they want, including soft and upright grasses to tough and running varieties. To help you choose which lawn seed to use, here are some details about the most popular lawn seeds in the Munns and Yates range:
- Munns® Arid Sun and Shade Lawn Seed Mix – a hardwearing and evergreen blend of upright ‘cool season’ grasses that will grow from full sun to 85% shade. These grasses do not require edge trimming and won’t invade garden beds as they are non-running. Suitable for all soil types and contains self-repairing tall fescue which makes it ideal for children and pets.
- Munns Emerald Kikuyu – a ‘warm season’ drought tolerant, hard wearing running grass that has a darker green colour, finer leaf texture, is less invasive and remains greener in winter (shown below right in mid-winter) than other varieties of kikuyu. Emerald kikuyu lawn seed is blended with a wetting agent to moisture penetration into the soil. The seed can take up to 21 days to germinate.
- Yates® LawnSmart® All Season Lawn Seed – a special blend of premium tall fescue, fast germinating ryegrass and other grasses to establish a drought tolerant lawn in cool climate areas. It survives in both sunny and shaded areas, offers excellent winter green colour and is ideal for oversowing shade damaged areas of kikuyu and buffalo lawns.
- The best time to sow a new lawn is during the mild conditions of early to mid spring and early to mid autumn. However with care a new lawn can be sown throughout the year as long as the soil temperature is warm enough.
- Spray the entire area with a non-selective herbicide such as Yates Zero Weedkiller. This will kill the existing grass as well as any weeds.
- Leave the sprayed area for 2 weeks, to allow all the weeds and grass to die.
- Measure the area so you can work out the amount of lawn seed and starter fertiliser you will need.
- Before sowing lawn seed, it’s important to prepare the soil first, to give the new lawn the best possible start. If the soil is uneven it’s a great opportunity to apply some top dressing to level out the surface. If the soil is hard and compacted, loosen the surface with a rake to create a softer surface for the lawn seed to germinate in.
- Once the area has loose soil and is even, lightly rake the area one way to create shallow furrows. Mix the required amount of lawn seed with a Starter Fertiliser. This makes it much easier to spread out the lawn seed, adds valuable organic matter to the soil and provides the new grass seedlings with gentle slow release nutrients as they establish.
- Spread the mix evenly over the area, either by hand or with a spreader, and then ‘cross rake’ (rake in the opposite direction to the first raking). Water the area gently and thoroughly, so that the top soil is moist.
- It’s very important to keep the top 1cm of soil moist for the first 2 – 3 weeks while the grass establishes. This may require watering several times a day. The most common reason for a newly sown lawn not being successful is lack of moisture during the germination and establishment phase.
- Minimise foot and pet traffic on the new lawn area until it is well established.
Caring for your lawn
Regular light fertilising during the growing season is better than infrequent, heavy fertilising. Use a correctly balanced fertiliser (such as Yates Lawn Fertiliser). Yates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated Lawn Food is an organic based concentrated lawn fertiliser that provides dual benefits of fast acting nutrients and slow release organics which mean you feed more lawn using less. Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food is an organic fertiliser that gently feeds all lawn types and improves the structure and moisture retention of the soil. Yates Buffalo Pro Controlled Release Fertiliser feeds & greens for 4 months and is ideal for buffalo lawns but suitable for all lawn types.
With established lawns, cut warm season grasses to 2.5 cm and cool season grasses to 5 cm. Cut as frequently as possible and remove as little growth as possible.
Never mow grass too low or ‘scalp’ the grass. Grasses need their leaves to make food for the plant and to shade the root system. Remove grass clippings or use a mulching mower.
Some lawns require a large amount of watering so, depending on the situation, other ground covers may be more appropriate.
Couch is the most drought tolerant grass. Other warm season grasses such as kikuyu, buffalo, carpet grass and Queensland blue couch are reasonably drought tolerant. As a rule, cool season grasses need more water, although turf type tall fescue is reasonably drought tolerant once established.
Water in the morning rather than the evening and give thorough less frequent soakings rather than short, frequent waterings. Don’t allow surface runoff.