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7 Common Types of Grass in Australia

Updated: Jan 26

Creating a beautiful and thriving lawn is a dream for many Australian homeowners. However, with the wide range of grass types available, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. The key to success lies in understanding the unique characteristics, advantages, and considerations of each grass variety.


Common types of grass in Australia include Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass, TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda, Nullarbor Couch, Eureka Kikuyu, RTF Tall Fescue, Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia, and Perennial Ryegrass.


A tall fescue nature strip in Pascoe Vale has been mowed and edged by Nathan's Lawn Care

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass:


Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass is a well-known and highly sought-after warm-season grass variety in Australia.


Its remarkable adaptability to diverse climates and soil types makes it a popular choice among lawn owners.


With its fine texture and dense growth, Sir Walter creates a soft and lush carpet that enhances the beauty of any outdoor space.


One of its outstanding features is its exceptional shade tolerance, allowing it to flourish even in partially shaded areas.


Additionally, this grass type boasts remarkable drought tolerance, reducing water consumption and making it an eco-friendly option.


Sir Walter requires minimal maintenance, including mowing and fertilising, making it ideal for those seeking a low-effort yet stunning lawn.


Unlike Kikuyu and couch, Buffalo does not grow runners under the soil which makes it easier to manage the grass growing into garden beds which is a constant frustration for a lot of my clients.


Nathan from Nathan's Lawn Care is mowing a buffalo lawn in Strathmore

Pros:

  • Adaptable to various climates and soil types.

  • Excellent shade tolerance.

  • Requires less water compared to other grass types.

  • Low maintenance requirements.

  • Resistant to pests and diseases.

Cons:

  • Slow to establish.

  • Thatch buildup if not properly maintained.

  • Moderate wear tolerance.

Best for:

  • Families with kids and pets

  • Shaded areas

  • Those looking for a low-maintenance lawn


Nullarbor Couch:


Nullarbor Couch is a warm-season grass variety that thrives in the warmer regions of Australia.


Known for its rapid growth and ability to establish quickly, Nullarbor Couch creates a dense and uniform turf that can withstand heavy foot traffic.


This grass type has a fine leaf texture, adding to its aesthetic appeal.


With its excellent drought tolerance, Nullarbor Couch can maintain its vibrant green colour even in dry conditions.


However, it requires regular maintenance to keep it in optimal condition.


This includes frequent mowing, fertilising, and occasional dethatching to prevent thatch build up.


While Nullarbor Couch performs best in full sun, it can tolerate partial shade to some extent.


It is important to note that Nullarbor Couch may turn brown during cold or frosty conditions, but it typically recovers quickly once warmer temperatures return.



A couch lawn in Pascoe Vale has been mowed and edged by Nathan's Lawn Care

Pros:

  • Excellent wear tolerance, ideal for active families and high-traffic areas.

  • Good drought tolerance.

  • Recovers quickly from damage.

  • Forms a dense, uniform turf.

  • Suitable for full sun conditions.

Cons:

  • Requires regular maintenance, including mowing, fertilising, and occasional dethatching.

  • Less shade tolerance compared to some other grass types.

  • May turn brown in cold or frosty conditions.

Best for:

  • Families with kids and pets


Eureka Kikuyu:


Eureka Kikuyu is a warm-season grass that is well-suited to the Australian climate, particularly in warmer regions.


This grass type is known for its vigorous growth and rapid establishment.


It forms a dense and robust turf that can handle high-traffic areas and recovers quickly from wear and tear.


Eureka Kikuyu has a coarser leaf texture compared to some other grass types, but it still creates an attractive and vibrant lawn.


Its excellent drought tolerance allows it to maintain its green colour even in dry conditions.


However, homeowners should be aware that Eureka Kikuyu requires regular maintenance to keep it in check.


This includes frequent mowing and controlling its aggressive growth to prevent it from becoming invasive.


Additionally, proper aeration is necessary to prevent thatch buildup.


While Eureka Kikuyu can tolerate partial shade, it performs best in full sun.


During cold or frosty periods, it may turn brown, but it typically recovers quickly once temperatures warm up again.



A kikuyu lawn in Oak Park has been mowed and edged by Nathan's Lawn Care

Pros:

  • Excellent drought tolerance.

  • Rapid growth and establishment.

  • Performs well in full sun and can handle partial shade.

  • Recovers quickly from wear and tear.

  • Budget-friendly option.

Cons:

  • Requires regular maintenance, including mowing and controlling its aggressive growth.

  • May become invasive if not properly managed.

  • Can turn brown in frosty or cold conditions.

  • Prone to thatch buildup if not properly aerated.

Best for:

  • Areas that receive full sun

  • Families with kids and pets


TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda:


TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda is a warm-season grass that has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its exceptional wear tolerance and rapid recovery properties.


This grass type is perfect for active families and high-traffic areas, as it can withstand heavy foot traffic and quickly bounce back from wear and tear.


Its soft, fine leaf texture adds to its appeal, creating a plush and inviting lawn surface.


TifTuf's water efficiency and drought tolerance contribute to its overall resilience, making it well-suited to Australia's often challenging climate conditions.


While it requires full sun to thrive, its quick establishment and ability to fill in bare spots rapidly make it a popular choice for homeowners looking to create a beautiful and resilient lawn in a short period.


However, homeowners should be mindful of its potential for thatch buildup if not properly managed, and regular mowing may be necessary to maintain its lush appearance.


Overall, TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda stands out as an excellent option for those seeking a sturdy and visually appealing lawn that can handle the demands of an active outdoor lifestyle.


A tiftuf hybrid bermuda lawn

Pros:

  • Exceptional wear tolerance, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.

  • Good drought tolerance and water efficiency.

  • Recovers quickly from damage and wear.

  • Low maintenance requirements.

  • Dense growth helps suppress weeds.

Cons:

  • Requires full sun and may struggle in shaded areas.

  • May need more frequent mowing compared to some other grass types.

  • Potential thatch buildup if not properly managed.

Best for:

  • Families with kids and pets

  • Public areas such as sports ovals


Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia:


Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia is a warm-season grass variety that has gained popularity for its exceptional aesthetic appeal and low maintenance requirements.


With its fine leaf texture, Sir Grange creates a lush and attractive lawn surface that adds beauty to any outdoor space.


This grass type boasts excellent shade tolerance for a warm-season variety, making it suitable for lawns with partial shade.


It also exhibits good drought tolerance and water efficiency, reducing water consumption and making it an environmentally friendly choice.


Sir Grange recovers well from damage and wear, maintaining its beautiful appearance even with moderate foot traffic.


While it has a slower establishment rate, the long-term benefits of its durability, pest resistance, and disease resistance make it a top choice for lawns that are both visually appealing and practical.


With its low maintenance requirements, Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia offers homeowners a stunning and hassle-free lawn option.



A sir grange zoysia lawn

Pros:

  • Excellent shade tolerance for a warm-season grass.

  • Low maintenance requirements.

  • Good drought tolerance and water efficiency.

  • Recovers well from damage.

  • Attractive appearance and fine texture.

Cons:

  • Slower establishment compared to some other grass types.

  • May require more frequent mowing during peak growth periods.

  • Not as cold-tolerant as some other varieties.

Best for:

  • Coastal gardens

  • Areas with a constantly changing climate


RTF Tall Fescue:


RTF Tall Fescue is a cool-season grass that thrives in cooler regions of Australia.


This grass type is known for its deep root system, which provides it with improved drought tolerance.


RTF Tall Fescue has a coarse leaf texture, giving it a distinct appearance.


It performs well in various soil types and exhibits good shade tolerance, making it suitable for lawns with partial shade.


While it may not have the same wear tolerance as warm-season grasses, RTF Tall Fescue can handle moderate foot traffic.


It requires less water compared to warm-season grasses, making it a more water-efficient option.


However, homeowners should be aware that RTF Tall Fescue has a slower establishment rate compared to warm-season grasses.


Regular overseeding is necessary to maintain thickness and appearance.


It is important to note that RTF Tall Fescue may not have the same visual appeal as some other grass types due to its coarser texture.



A tall fescue lawn

Pros:

  • Good shade tolerance.

  • Performs well in cooler climates.

  • Tolerates a variety of soil types.

  • Requires less water compared to warm-season grasses.

  • Can handle moderate foot traffic.

Cons:

  • Slower establishment compared to warm-season grasses.

  • Coarser texture may not be as visually appealing.

  • Requires periodic overseeding to maintain thickness.

  • Less wear tolerance compared to some warm-season grass types.

Best for:

  • Colder climates

  • South facing shady areas


Perennial Ryegrass:


Perennial Ryegrass is a cool-season grass that is commonly used for overseeding warm-season lawns or as a standalone grass in cooler regions of Australia.


This grass type is known for its rapid germination and establishment, quickly transforming bare areas into lush green lawns.


Perennial Ryegrass has a fine leaf texture, creating a soft and visually appealing appearance.


It performs exceptionally well in cooler climates and exhibits good shade tolerance, making it suitable for lawns with partial shade.


Perennial Ryegrass creates a dense and uniform turf, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the lawn.


However, it requires regular overseeding to maintain thickness and appearance, as it is not a perennial grass.


While it can handle moderate foot traffic, Perennial Ryegrass may not have the same wear tolerance as warm-season grasses.


It is important to note that this grass type may struggle in hot and dry conditions and is prone to disease and pest issues if not properly maintained.


perennial ryegrass


Pros:

  • Rapid establishment and germination.

  • Performs well in cooler climates.

  • Good shade tolerance.

  • Creates a lush and attractive lawn.

  • Can handle moderate foot traffic.

Cons:

  • Requires regular overseeding to maintain thickness and appearance.

  • May struggle in hot and dry conditions.

  • Less wear tolerance compared to warm-season grasses.

  • Prone to disease and pest issues if not properly maintained.

Best for:

  • Colder climates

  • South facing shady areas


How to choose the right types of grass?


  1. Climate: Start by considering the climate in your region. Australia has diverse climates, ranging from tropical to Mediterranean and cool temperate. Different grass types thrive in specific climate conditions. Warm-season grasses, such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass and TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda, are suitable for warmer regions, while cool-season grasses like RTF Tall Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass are better suited for cooler areas.

  2. Sunlight and Shade: Assess the amount of sunlight and shade your lawn receives. Some grass types, like Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia, exhibit excellent shade tolerance, making them ideal for lawns with partial shade. Others, such as Nullarbor Couch and Eureka Kikuyu, thrive in full sun. Choose a grass type that matches the sun exposure in your yard to ensure optimal growth and health.

  3. Maintenance Requirements: Consider your willingness and ability to maintain your lawn. Some grass types, like Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia and Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass, have low maintenance requirements, while others may require more frequent mowing, watering, fertilising, and pest control. Assess your available time and resources to ensure you can meet the specific needs of the grass type you choose.

  4. Usage: Think about how you intend to use your lawn. Will it primarily serve as a visual backdrop or a play area for children and pets? If you anticipate heavy foot traffic or have active family members, look for grass types with good wear tolerance, such as TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda or Eureka Kikuyu. On the other hand, if you prefer a more delicate lawn for aesthetic purposes, a fine-textured grass like Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia may be the right choice.



Understanding the specific attributes and considerations of each grass variety will help you make an informed decision and achieve a healthy, vibrant, and visually pleasing lawn that enhances your outdoor space.


Consulting with local experts or turf suppliers can provide further guidance tailored to your specific region and requirements, ensuring the success of your lawn for years to come.


10 Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Grass


Which grass type is best for my region's climate?

Choosing the right grass type for your region's climate is essential for a healthy and thriving lawn. Warm-season grasses, such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass and TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda, are well-suited to warmer regions, while cool-season grasses like RTF Tall Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass thrive in cooler areas. Consider your region's average temperatures and rainfall patterns to select a grass type that can withstand the climate's challenges.


How do I determine the amount of sunlight and shade in my yard?

Assessing the sunlight and shade in your yard is crucial for selecting the appropriate grass type. Observe your lawn at different times of the day to identify areas with full sun, partial shade, or full shade. Keep in mind that the sun's angle changes with the seasons. Understanding the sunlight patterns will help you choose a grass type with the right shade tolerance for optimal growth.


What are the maintenance requirements for different grass types?

Maintenance requirements vary among grass types. Some grasses, like Sir Grange Zeon Zoysia and Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass, have low maintenance needs, requiring less frequent mowing and fertilising. Others, such as Eureka Kikuyu and Nullarbor Couch, may require more regular maintenance. Consider factors such as mowing height, watering frequency, fertilisation schedules, and weed control when selecting a grass type that aligns with your desired level of lawn care.


Can I mix different grass types in my lawn?

While it is possible to mix different grass types in your lawn, it is generally not recommended. Different grass types have unique growth patterns, maintenance requirements, and aesthetics. Mixing grass types can result in an uneven and visually inconsistent lawn. It is best to choose a single grass type that suits your specific needs and conditions.


How long does it take for grass to establish and fill in bare spots?

The time it takes for grass to establish and fill in bare spots varies depending on the grass type and environmental conditions. Warm-season grasses generally establish more quickly, typically within a few weeks to a couple of months. Cool-season grasses may take longer, often several weeks to a few months. Proper soil preparation, adequate watering, and regular maintenance can expedite the establishment process.


Are there any grass types that are resistant to pests and diseases?

Certain grass types exhibit better resistance to pests and diseases than others. For example, Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Grass is known for its resistance to many common lawn pests. However, no grass type is entirely immune to all potential issues. Proper lawn care practices, such as regular mowing, adequate watering, and proper fertilisation, can help promote a healthy lawn and reduce the risk of pest and disease problems.


Which grass types are suitable for high-traffic areas or play spaces?

If you have high-traffic areas or play spaces in your yard, choosing a grass type with good wear tolerance is crucial. Grasses like TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda and Eureka Kikuyu are known for their ability to handle heavy foot traffic and recover quickly from wear and tear. Consider a grass type with good resilience and durability to ensure your lawn can withstand the demands of active use.


What are the water requirements for different grass types?

Water requirements vary among grass types, with warm-season grasses generally requiring less water than cool-season grasses. However, all grass types benefit from deep watering that promotes deep root growth. Factors such as climate, soil type, and seasonal variations also influence water needs. It's important to understand your grass type's specific water requirements and adjust irrigation accordingly to maintain a healthy and water-efficient lawn.


How do I test and improve the soil quality for optimal grass growth?

Testing your soil's quality is essential to understand its composition and nutrient levels. Soil testing kits are available at garden centers or through agricultural extension offices. By analyzing the results, you can determine if any amendments are needed, such as adjusting pH levels, adding organic matter, or correcting nutrient deficiencies. Improving the soil quality before planting or laying turf can significantly benefit the growth and health of your chosen grass type.


Can I grow grass from seeds, or is it better to lay lawn?

Both growing grass from seeds and laying turf have their advantages and considerations. Growing grass from seeds is cost-effective, offers a wider selection of grass types, and allows for better control over establishment. However, it requires more time and patience as seeds take longer to establish. Laying turf provides an instant lawn with established grass, but it can be more expensive and limits the selection of grass types. Consider factors such as time, budget, and desired timeline for a lush lawn when deciding between seeding and sodding.


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