Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - LOOK LOCAL -

OUR love of the great out­doors in Perth means cre­at­ing a com­fort­able and func­tional gar­den is a top pri­or­ity for many home­own­ers.

Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion spokes­woman Clare Lu­gar said in­stalling lawn as a ground cover was still a pop­u­lar choice as it helped cool the home and pro­vided an area for fam­i­lies and pets to en­joy our cli­mate.

En­sur­ing a lawn is wa­ter-ef­fi­cient is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant in our dry­ing cli­mate, so look for a warm-sea­son grass to save time on wa­ter­ing and main­te­nance.

Ms Lu­gar said the fol­low­ing lawn va­ri­eties were drought-tol­er­ant and suit­able for WA’s warm con­di­tions: soft leaf buf­falo grasses, Queens­land blue, vel­vetene, couch grasses, kikuyu grasses and zoysia grasses.

The Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion rec­om­mended the fol­low­ing six steps when plant­ing a lawn:


Re­move any rocks, sticks or tree roots and level the area with the back of a rake or lev­el­ling board to cre­ate a smooth and con­sis­tent soil sur­face about 30-50mm be­low the level of paths and drive­ways.


You will need to de­sign and install an ef­fi­cient ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem.

A Waterwise gar­den ir­ri­ga­tor can pro­vide ex­pert ad­vice and de­sign and install a sys­tem to en­sure your new lawn will re­ceive the right amount of wa­ter on your sprin­kler ros­ter day.


In­cor­po­rate soil amend­ments ap­pro­pri­ate to your soil type, for ex­am­ple by adding clay or red sands to your grey sands, work­ing them into the top 15cm of soil. Add a qual­ity soil-wet­ting agent and a mois­ture re­tainer if pos­si­ble (see your turf grower for ad­vice) and lightly ap­ply an or­ganic, slow-re­lease fer­tiliser and wa­ter in well. This will pro­vide a healthy base for your lawn. Look for the Waterwise and Smart Ap­proved WaterMark sym­bols when buy­ing a gar­den­ing prod­uct at your lo­cal Waterwise Gar­den Cen­tre.


Be­gin by lay­ing the turf along the long­est straight edge, such as a drive­way, push­ing the edges tightly to­gether with­out stretch­ing the turf or over­lap­ping. Stag­ger the joints like brick­work and use a sharp knife to cut the turf where re­quired. If you’re in­stalling turf on a sloped sur­face place the turf along the slope, not down, and peg or stake the turf where re­quired to keep it in place. Af­ter lay­ing the turf, use a roller to en­cour­age soil to turf con­tact, lightly ap­ply a slow re­lease fer­tiliser and wa­ter thor­oughly. Reap­ply a light sprin­kle of or­ganic fer­tiliser, such as pel­letised chicken ma­nure, 14 days af­ter lay­ing.


Establishing a new lawn re­quires ad­di­tional wa­ter­ing in the first few weeks. You can ap­ply for an ex­emp­tion to the wa­ter­ing ros­ter to help fully es­tab­lish your lawn. To find out more or to ap­ply, call the Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion on 13 10 39. Once the ex­emp­tion pe­riod fin­ishes, you will need to re­vert to your wa­ter­ing ros­ter.


Lightly mow your new lawn once you are cer­tain that the roots have taken hold. In sum­mer, this is usu­ally within 10 to 14 days of lay­ing your turf.

With your lawn in place, now is the time to choose some waterwise plants for your gar­den. Use the waterwise plant search at wa­ter­cor­po­ra­­ter/ waterwise-plants-search to find plants suited to your area.

There are six steps to plant­ing a wa­ter-ef­fi­cient lawn.

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