Know the Different Turf Varieties and their Best Methods for Proper Maintenance

10 February 2022

There are two types of turf on the market, and they can be classified into warm and cold season grasses. Generally speaking, the warm season grasses thrive in full sun (part shade) and require less watering during the warmer months. During the cooler months, this variety will go into a dormant state which can sometimes mean a slight yellowing of the colour. This variety includes Sir Walter, Kings Pride, Santa Anna couch and Kikuyu.

The colder season grasses thrive in cold conditions and remain a lush green throughout the entire year. However, they require a considerable amount of water to keep them alive during the warmer months. This variety includes Tall Fescue and Rye based grasses.

You will need to clear the natural ground of building rubble and excavate if the slope of the land falls back to your house – ideally, the rain runoff needs to flow away from the building. It is also important if you are installing sprinklers to have a conduit PVC 90mm pipe placed adjacent to your taps under sandy concrete paths. All edging, fencing and paths (any hardscaping) need to be completed before turf is installed.

Once the initial preparation is completed, a 70-90mm layer of good quality soil needs to be levelled across the surface. A levelling rake and string line come in handy here. Once this is done, start-up fertilizer (usually supplied by the turf company) is spread across the surface. The turf can be laid in a brickwork pattern across the surface, and upon completion, it should be top-dressed with premium sand. This will help improve the connectivity of the turf with the soil and retain moisture.

The turf should be water 1-3 times a day (depending on how hot and windy it is) until such a time when it can’t be pulled up. Thus should take 3-5 weeks in warm weather. Watering should ease back to once every 3-4 days, and then when fully established once a week, or when required.

Warm-season turf (such as Soft Leaf Buffalo, Kikuyu and Couch) can be laid in the wintertime but will require lots of maintenance (namely watering every day) until it starts growing in the warmer months. Because these varieties are warm-season grasses, they go into a dormant stage in the colder months.

Once your turf is established, it can be fertilised in early spring and late summer/early autumn to help it through the colder months. Slow-release granular fertiliser is the best product, as it releases nutrients into the soil slowly over some time. These products can be purchased at any nursery or Bunnings.


The height you mow your lawn will depend on the variety of turf you have laid. Only mow your lawn once fully established. The beauty of warm-season grasses is that they do not grow much during the colder months, meaning only 6-8 months of mowing. The cold season grasses (such as Tall Fescue) will grow all year round.

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