How To Choose The Best Lawn For Your Yard

Jacqui Coombe

Ever wondered how some lawns look like they’ve come straight out of a home garden magazine? Green, lush, perfectly manicured. How do they do it?

While maintaining a healthy lawn has a lot to do with it, having the best lawn on the street generally comes down to choosing the best lawn for your yard.

There are many varieties of lawn grass, some grow differently depending on a variety of factors such as climate, soil type, and of course, lawn type.

Here’s how to choose the best lawn for your yard so that you too can be the envy of your street!

Consider your location

Grass types come in two categories - warm season and cool season grasses. Warm season grasses are suited to warmer climates; growing best in locations that get a lot of sun. Cool season grasses, on the other hand, are suited to cooler climates or locations that experience a lot of temperature fluctuations.

Warm season grasses become active during the summer months then go dormant in winter (meaning, there’s little to no growth). Cool season grasses grow actively during the spring and autumn seasons and then slow down their growth over summer.

If you live in an area that experiences drought or minimal rainfall, then you should choose a warm season grass variety. Whereas, if you’re in a location that gets a lot of rain and changes in weather, then a cool-season grass type is best for you.

Consider your lawn needs

The next step to choosing the best lawn type is to consider what you’ll be using your lawn for. Are you wanting a lawn for curb appeal or mainly aesthetic reasons? Or are you hoping to get a lawn that your kids and pets can play on?

Every turf variety has its own unique benefits and features. It’s important to choose one that best suits your lifestyle needs otherwise you could end up with a lawn that fails to live up to expectations.

Some points to help you consider which lawn best suits your lifestyle:

  • Is your yard in shade or full sun?
  • Is it a high-traffic area? (does it get a lot of foot traffic?)
  • Do you want a low-maintenance lawn?
  • Do you have kids or pets?
  • What’s the soil type in your yard? (Sandy? Clay? Silt?)

If you want an easy way to choose the right lawn for your backyard, take this quiz.

Top types of grasses

To help narrow down your choices, here are some of the most popular grass types in Australia today:

Warm-season grasses

1. Buffalo: Excellent in drought conditions, hard-wearing, and ideal for high-traffic areas. Popular varieties include “Sir Walter” and “Sapphire” which can tolerate colder temperatures.

2. Couch: Finer leaf blades for softness underfoot, great for formal gardens. May require more maintenance as it can become invasive. Most varieties are hard-wearing but have low shade tolerance and prefer full sun areas.

3. Kikuyu: Fast growing, self-repairing, and great for larger areas or public green spaces. Quite drought-tolerant but can be high-maintenance due to its rapid growth. Prefers full sun as it has low shade tolerance.

4. Zoysia: Has a larger leaf blade than Couch grass but is finer than Buffalo. Thrives in full sun and is drought-tolerant. Can also tolerate a variety of locations including coastal areas.

Cool-season grasses

1. Ryegrass: An attractive grass that tolerates high traffic. Typically is combined with Kentucky Bluegrass and is suited to colder climates and for use in large pastures.

2. Fescues: Tall Fescue has good heat and drought tolerance despite being a cool-season grass. Has a coarser texture and good pest tolerance. Stays green all year round and is low-maintenance.

3. Bluegrass: Varieties like Kentucky Bluegrass are super hardy and self-repairing. Often synonymous in places like the U.S as being the “ideal lawn grass”. It’s dense, lush, and also great for pastures. Can be high-maintenance and is best used in full-sun areas.

4. Bentgrass: Fast-growing, suited to both home lawns and golf courses for its fine attractive growth and ability to tolerate low mowing lengths. If you do choose to install Bentgrass on your home lawn, be prepared for its higher maintenance requirements.

Hopefully, by now you have a better understanding of what lawn type to choose for your yard. A good suggestion is to make a list of your climate, soil type, shade, and slope type of your property along with your lifestyle needs and to talk them over with your local turf supplier. A professional lawn supplier will have a much better understanding of what turf type suits your local area. They can help you with selecting your turf type, installation and provide you with ongoing lawn care advice. You can also check with them to see when is the best time to install your new lawn, as some varieties will only establish at certain times of the year.

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Jacqui Coombe has been a prolific reader since childhood, and now channels her love of the written word into writing content on a range of topics from business, marketing and finance to travel and lifestyle.

Santa Monica, CA
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