What grass variety is most suitable?
Tall Fescue :- Lush green carpet grass, tolerates shade, has some limited drought tolerance, requires watering through the summer but limited winter growth – highly recommended species for Auckland.
Fine Fescue :- Fine Fescue over the last 5 years the blends have vastly improved to suit the Auckland weather conditions (Humidity) and the benefit of have Fine Fescue is the ability to remove undesirable grasses such as Kikuyu/Paspalum/Crowsfoot/Couch plus Rye and Tall Fescue grasses … giving you the ability to have a clean lawn.
Biggest issue for Fine Fescue in Auckland is over watering and night watering … the humid over night conditions can cause fungus disease … but if watered early morning and the use of a wetting granule to reduce the amount of water usage Fine Fescue can be the visual lawn you require.
Rye Grass :- Used mainly on sports field applications throughout Australasia and is favoured for winter sports as it has positive winter recovery. Has no shade tolerance and requires regular irrigation. – Works in Auckland in full sun but requires daily watering throughout summer.
Couch Grass :- This species is gaining in popularity. It was once regarded as an undesirable grass. For a property with full sun and budget constraints in regard to irrigation this would be a suitable application. As Couch is a Rhizomaus grass species it has sideways moving characteristics and as a consequence is ideal on a site with children or animals. Couch needs a lot of sun and has no tolerance to shade or frost. Frost causes dormancy but it will recover once soil temperatures start improving. With all the talk of global warming, we really do not know about the future with regard to water availability etc. However, grass species such as Couch and Kikuyu could become more and more popular. – Good grass for Auckland in full sun and ideal for beach front locations due to high in salt tolerance.
New Couch Grass :- Unlike other couch grasses … we have been trialling a new species which we are hoping to use this coming summer … advantage of this new couch … it is a winter active species … meaning it can handle cold temperatures throughout the winter months … unlike the other couch grasses that are available.
Another advantage that we have found … is it has trialled well this summer in the drought conditions that we have had … in the trial we gave it no water at all apart from the rainfall we had … which was literary non-existent… and it held it’s colour throughout that period.
Benefits – it stays green all year round and requires limited watering … which under the current water restrictions is the ideal grass of the future.
Kikuyu Grass :- Now available in an instant form and enjoys the same characteristics and conditions as Couch
Mixed Blends :- If possible, we make every endeavour to stay away from blending different varieties of grass seed. It is much more expensive to control undesirable species of grasses/weeds and can create quite serious problems such as burning the chosen species through the application of chemicals and such in order to eradicate undesirable weeds/ grasses etc.
KEY POINTS FOR A GOOD LAWN:
Grass type is essential … your site/property will determine what is best type of grass for your installation or construction … is it shady or is it in full or partial sun …. This will determine your best grass type.
But the key element is what your grass is growing in … a good lawn base with good nutrient and good ph. Levels goes towards you having a good lawn … deep healthy roots mean a good healthy plant.
Healthy roots aid moisture retention … and less disease.
With a Total Turf Services lawn maintenance program, we insure that we are constantly applying quality products into the lawn base … this will increase the longevity of your lawn … plus regular dethatching (annually or every other year) to remove thatch layer is also essential.
Following preparation, grass type is the next most important decision. Each site can have different requirements such as – beach front, shady, full sun, children, pets etc. All of these factors need to be considered in order to determine the correct species of grass for the specific application. Budget constraints are also a factor in deciding grass species. For example, the installation of an irrigation system for watering during summer as compared to installing a more drought tolerant grass that requires little or no watering.