How much do you know about your lawn? In Australia, there are two main types of lawn varieties:
Cool-season grasses retain their colour and continue to grow throughout the winter while the growth of warm-season grasses slows down during winter and they lose some of their colour.
Cool-season grasses include varieties such as:
Warm-season grasses are known as C4 grasses while cool-season ones are known as C3 grasses. These reference numbers refer to the number of carbon atoms contained in each compound. The C3 and C4 reference is how each type of grass is given its particular characteristics.
Warm-season lawn grasses are those that tend to die back and lose their colour during winter, including varieties such as:
Warm-season grasses are more suited to the northern areas of Australia while cool-season grasses grow better in the far south. Geographically Australia has a limited true cool-season area in comparison with Europe and North America which is why warm-season lawn varieties are more common here.
The main benefits of cold season grasses are their striking appearance, the big downfall, and retaining their colour in winter.
Because these grasses do best in cold weather conditions, they flourish during the winter months, explains lawn and tree care experts Cheaper Trees. They say “however, as soon as the temperature starts to warm back up, they will begin to wilt and lose the vigour they had due to the cool winter temperatures.”
Australia can’t be deemed a cold country although the southern states can sometimes experience cold winters, however, nothing compared to the cold winters experienced in colder countries.
The only way to maintain the growth of cool-season grasses in most parts of the country is to drench it in copious amounts of water. This practice will not only produce a water bill that will make a large dent in your pocket, but it is also bad for the environment.
In some southern areas in Australia, there are certain situations in which grass varieties like rye or fescue can be managed without a major impact on the environment, notes new home landscaper Wayne Leglies, however, adequate rainfall plays a significant part in this.
The most effective way to use cool-season lawn varieties is by the method of over sowing. For example, over sowing a variety like ryegrass will provide a lush green turf throughout the winter months with minimal additional water requirements once it has germinated.
However, the method of over sowing is not recommended for warm-season varieties except for Couch. The reason why most sports fields remain green even during the winter is that they have been over sown with Couch to provide a thick, lush green playing surface that can survive the winter months. An alternative to the method of over sowing is to use the new hybrid Bermuda (Couch) variety, TifTuf.
This warm-season variety has exceptional colour retention abilities throughout the winter that have never been seen before. Combined with its other benefits like drought tolerance, wear resistance, and dense profile, TifTuf is a hard-working grass that is highly suitable for the Australian climate.
With these excellent qualities, it is no longer necessary to over sow sports fields for winter use or the use of large, expensive heat lights.
Tiftuf is also suitable for home lawns. It provides homeowners with the best of both worlds – a greener lawn in winter that requires less watering.
If you are looking for a lawn grass with all the qualities you like about cool season varieties and also includes the hardiness and tolerance of warm season grasses, TifTuf may be the grass variety for you.