Lush & lovely lawns
It’s time to get outside and give your grass some lovin’! Here’s your spring guide to achieving the ultimate patch
lawn love – there’s a lot of it about. Just about every self-respecting homeowner harbours a secret desire to have the best expanse in the street, and lawn-care products are bestsellers in home and garden stores, especially when spring rolls around. You’ll even find a lawn-addicts fan page on Facebook (called, appropriately, ‘Lawn Porn’!) where people can share photos of their perfect green creations. But regardless of your level of grass obsession, here’s a springtime guide to what to do now to revive your patch and have it looking its best. And if it’s time for a new lawn at your place, check out our hints on choosing and planting.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT VARIETY
Grass varieties fall into two groups: warm season and cool season. Always choose a lawn type that is right for your climate (see Garden diary for your zone map, on page 74).
• Warm-season grasses do their growing from spring to autumn, slowing down or going dormant over winter. They grow best at temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, so are best suited to climate zones that are warm temperate, subtropical or tropical. Most of them, however, can tolerate a little light frost, and still bounce back when the weather warms up again. Warm lawns: Buffalo, soft-leaf buffalo, couch, kikuyu and zoysia.
• Cool-season grasses grow best when temperatures are between 10°C and 20°C, so mostly during spring and autumn. They slow right down over summer, but stay nice and green through winter. These are the grasses you see in the suburbs of Canberra and rural areas of southern Australia, where winter nights are frosty. These types also tend to be very fine-leaved, so they make very elegant lawns.
Cool lawns: Fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Canberra Blend, ryegrass and bent.
Even small gardens can accommodate lawn as a feature. Try an idea like this one, containing a rectangle of green grass within a metal border.