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

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Green Your Scene -

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.

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