The grass base of most Sand belt lawns are Couch, Kikuyu and more recently Buffalo, otherwise known as WARM SEASON turfgrass. These grass types have excellent heat and drought tolerance and reproduce from runners, rather than seed. In full sun, they grow actively in the sand belt from early summer to mid autumn, before heading into dormancy for the cold months. In shade regions, these grasses struggle to grow or may die back. During winter dormancy, they stop growing altogether, suffer severe wear damage and lose color; and inevitably annual winter broadleaf and grass weeds take hold.
Unfortunately, many sand belt lawns have little warm season grass base and are dominant with undesirable grassy and broadleaf weeds, particularly through the cooler months (late March to late Nov).
The strategy for the ideal, 4-season lawn in Melbourne’s Bayside’s sand belt is to:
a. Summer: Promote the spreading growth of the warm season grass base, if present and coverage is suffucient.
b. from early Autumn onwards: Turf reseed™ with cool season turfgrasses with the option of keeping the new grass long term.
Turf reseeding™ is the process of drilling seed into and under dormant couch or kikuyu, or sprayed out or existing old lawn.
The main COOL SEASON turfgrass varieties are turf-type perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and fine fescues. These grasses make a beautifully rich, vibrant colored, fine-leaf lawn with excellent cool season growth, wear and shade tolerance. Without soil moisture, their Achilles heel is tolerance to prolonged drought and extreme heat.
These perennial turfgrasses will persist 4-seasons with easy common sense care and are established from seed from late summer to late spring. The best turf-type fine leaf perennial ryegrass examples are the stadium ovals used by the AFL in Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Launceston, the VRC racetracks, Lord’s cricket ground and Wimbledon.
Renew your lawn NOW In just 7 to 12 days from Turf reseeding™, your tired old lawn will be renewed with dense vibrant coloured fine leaf perennial turf grass. You can retain stunning lawn cover for at least 10 months, and over summer into the following year with strategic watering and a little care. Our Turf reseeder™ accurately drills seed into and under existing lawn and bare ground for ideal seed-soil contact and seed wet-up, resulting in dense and uniform establishment. Vertical blades slice into existing lawn, creating a slice opening; depositing and securing seed at correct depth and rate, with minimal lawn disruption or soil tillage. Minimal soil disturbance ensures resident weed seeds remain dormant and weed germination is minimal. Turf seed is well covered, protected from birds and flotation; and is mostly free from weed seed competition.
Establishing healthy ryegrass turf cover over dormant couch and kikuyu by Turf reseeding™ retains the existing grass base. From late November onwards, the warm season grasses will begin to grow aggressively again and overtake the ryegrass.
If the lawn is 50% or more weeds and sparse with Couch, Buffalo and Kikuyu, then a full SOD renovation may be desirable. Budget on around $45-$65/m2 for removal, preparation, SOD and labour, not including chiro visits.
The option to installing SOD is to Turf reseed™ with persistent turf-type perennial ryegrass, tall fescue or fine fescue. It costs only a fraction of installing instant turf (SOD); without the backache or yard disruption.
If needed, the following autumn, Turf reseed™ again to thicken the grass sward or where individual plants areas may have thinned out.
Warm season grasses will not thrive and recede without adequate sunlight. In mostly shaded areas, establish and maintain cool season grasses. Warm season grasses in full sunlight and cool season grasses in shaded areas happily co-exist to make a worthy lawn.
Introductory free lawn evaluation for Bayside households
We use the latest premium turfseed varieties supplied by the turfseed company. All seed is Blue tag certified, the highest standard for seed quality. We do not use uncertified or low grade agricultural seed varieties.
Lawns can be reseeded with cool season grasses between late March and late October depending on seasonal weather and other factors. The best time, however, to reseed lawn is from early April onwards when soil temperatures are still warm, annual weeds have yet to germinate and warm season turfgrasses begins to get sleepy. During our 2014 lawn and turf reseeding trials however, we achieved fantastic results from June reseeding and onwards.
To apply 10 mm of water to a 100 m2 of lawn during a February heat wave will cost $2.50– $3.60 (1 kL).
Source: South East Water (same cost as a coffee)