The AusGAP Turf Selection tool will assist you select the correct turf variety to ensure it has the best chance of thriving in the particular environment in which it is laid.
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Drought tolerance is a desirable trait of turf grass as it means that the amount of water needed to uphold an acceptable appearance is reduced and survival during times of minimal water input in your lawn is increased.
Drought tolerance can be the result of a number of different characteristics in different species.
There are three main mechanisms for drought tolerance
By growing deeper roots, the grass can access water that is in the subsoil that would otherwise be out of reach for a shallow rooted plant. Grasses like Kikuyu and Couch use this mechanism which can result in the grass becoming invasive with subsurface rhizomes searching for that water in garden beds and neighbouring lawns.
Dormancy is a survival mechanism that is also seen in warm season grasses during the colder periods of the year. By shutting the plants internal system down, it can survive in conditions that would otherwise cause harm to the plant cells. This can result in a loss of colour or plant vigour which then reduces the aesthetic appeal of the grass but increases the chance of survival during water stress.
Some of the newer varieties of grass have been bred from years of research and can withstand long dry spells by reducing the amount of water that is lost due to evapotranspiration, which is the loss of water through the plants leaf. This allows the plant to remain active and retain colour and vigour where other grasses may struggle.
Drought tolerance can be measured as an Evapotranspiration rate (ETo) or by simply comparing the appearance of grasses during drought stress. To choose the right turf for your project, taking into consideration the drought tolerance among other things, use the AusGAP Turf Selector and contact your local AusGAP certified producer.
Most lawn grasses need four to six hours of direct sun to survive. Some shade-tolerant grass types grow if light hits that four-hour quota – and that light doesn’t have to be full sun. Four to six hours of dappled or filtered sunlight can fuel the growth of a healthy lawn.
Some grasses are more able to adapt to shaded conditions than other, soft leaf Buffalo and some Zoysia grasses can survive in partially shaded areas better than other grass types such as Kikuyu and green Couch.
Excess shade cuts the sunlight available and reduces that plants ability to photosynthesise, which is how the grass utilises available nutrients and water to keep it alive and healthy.
Plants that grow in shaded areas are more susceptible to stresses such as wear because their ability to function and recover are reduced. Choosing the correct turf type for a shaded area is important as is the preparation and maintenance of the grass in these areas to make sure you get the best results from your certified turf product.
Use the AusGAP Turf Selector to compare the available grasses in your area and talk to your local certified producer to make the correct selection for your site.
Excess wear and tear can leave a lawn looking tired and sparse. Areas that are exposed to large amounts of traffic need to be selected carefully to give the lawn the best chance of performing, they also require increased maintenance to assist with the process of coping. Tolerance to traffic and wear can be attributed to one or two main characteristics of certain grasses.
Maintenance of high traffic areas is increased to help combat the impact of the traffic. Excess use of an area can increase compaction of the soil and limit the amount of oxygen and water available to the plant, both essential to the success of a turf grass.
To choose the correct turf for a high traffic area or discuss correct preparation and maintenance of these areas, use the turf selection tools and contact your local AusGAP certified producer to discuss options.
Tolerance to traffic and wear can be attributed to one or two main characteristics of certain grasses
Rapid growth allows grass to rejuvenate after it has been worn down. Warm season grasses that rely on this attribute to overcome wear can suffer through colder periods when they go dormant due to a reduced growth rate.
Dense growth of foliage and runners allows the grass to tolerate greater amounts of wear because the dense canopy of live material forms a mat like surface with more “cushioning” for the contact.
Salt in your lawn’s soil can slow the growth of grass. When salt builds up around grass roots, it blocks their oxygen and water, gradually dehydrating them. As the roots fail to take up water and other nutrients, your grass shows symptoms such as yellowing or browning; in extreme cases, you may even notice a pale, salty crust develops on the lawn’s surface
Salt build up can be caused by many factors, they include:
- Over fertilising
- Rising water table bringing salts to the surface
- Sea spray in coastal regions
Salt tolerance is high in grasses such as Zoysia, these turf varieties can actually remove salt from the soil and deposit on the outer leaf of the plant. If the clip from mowing is caught and disposed of, the salt content of a highly saline soil can be reduced without damage to the plant. Soft leaf Buffalo is also able to grow in areas of higher salt concentration.
For salt affected regions it is best to contact your local AusGAP certified producer to discuss the best options for your situation. Preparation and maintenance of sites that are salt affected can vary form normal practices as well which your local certified producer can assist with.
Maintenance is a broad term used to group the needs of the particular turf grass under one title, the sub headings that would fall under maintenance would include:
- Mowing frequency
- Fertiliser requirements
- Water needs
Having a low maintenance lawn does not mean no maintenance, to keep any turf grass healthy and growing well, there is a certain amount of maintenance that needs to be applied, no matter the grass variety.
Maintaining a healthy lawn and having a show stopping striped lawn that looks like a bowling green are possible with the same grass under differing maintenance regimes, although not all grasses are suited under the two situations.
To find the best certified grass for your maintenance needs, use the AusGAP Turf Selector and contact your local certified producer.
AusGAP staff and growers are also available to help with the correct selection of turf for your situation. All of the AusGAP certified growers across Australia have an extensive knowledge of turf types and can advise on the best option for you if the choice is not clear.
Each AusGAP certified grass delivery will be accompanied by a product warranty and authenticity certificate where appropriate. This one of a kind guarantee, the only of its type for turf grass in Australia, gives you the peace of mind knowing that the production and delivery standards are second to none.