What is the best turf grass for you?
What turf grass should you select for your own lawn: kikuyu, couch/Bermuda, zoysia, durban or buffalo/St Augustine?
Quite often people ask me what really is the best turf for their yard. Invariably, the type of turf grass present in someone’s yard may have been the appropriate turf grass when the property was initially landscaped. However, with the passage of time all garden plants and trees grow to quite large plants and trees.
Kikuyu and couch turf grasses are characterised by poor growth in shaded areas. Generally these turf grasses require six hours of sunlight to full sun to perform at peak. A good tip for lawn lovers is to trim over hanging plants from garden edges and to under-prune low branches from tree canopies to allow more direct sunlight to lawn areas.
Over the years buffalo or St Augustine grasses have been bred to perform better in shadier areas. In recent years, buffalo turf varieties have been bred to perform well in full sun, however, also exhibit really good shade tolerance. Those which require minimal direct sunlight (of say 3 to 4 hours per day) include the Palmetto Buffalo (aka Palmetto St Augustine) and Sir Walter Buffalo.
Sir Walter being an Australian Turf is well suited to the Australian environment and therefore an excellent choice for an Australian family lawn.
Depending on your landscaping tastes, you may consider durban grass as a lawn for nearly full shade situations. Durban grass handles just about full shade without any effect on its ability to thrive.
In terms of ability to cope with shade on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is full sunlight and 10 is full shade), the turf grasses are as follows:
kikuyu (1), couch/Bermuda (3), buffalo/St Augustine (7) and Durban (9).