What grass is between your toes?
Grass is grass, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, the type of grass your backyard has might be different to that of your neighbours, and the process of caring for it might differ significantly as well. In New Zealand alone, the average yard has a chance of being home to at least one of six types of common grasses, if not more.
If you’re looking to get to grips with lawn care, you might like to
know a little bit about that greenery in your own backyard.
Out of all grass types in Auckland and surrounding regions, you are more likely to come across Tall Fescue, a hard-wearing, dark green grass, than any other. Tall Fescue is coarse in texture, bunches together, and stands erect even when trampled. If you’re interested in lawn care, this type of grass is most likely going to be the most recommended option for your backyard.
It fairs well in low-water situations, adapts to various soil types, and is more tolerant to everyday wear and tear than some of the more delicate grasses available. What’s more, the seeds are affordable when you’re looking to sow grass yourself, and lawn mowing is a breeze.
Tip: Plant at least 50 grams of seeds per square metre and mow down to a minimum height of 50mm.
Fine Fescue is not necessarily one type of grass; instead, it’s a collective of many different Fescue grass kinds found throughout the country. Fine Fescue incorporates red, hard, sheep and chewings fescue – variations of each other but with defining factors. When you’re beginning to take a real interest in lawn care, ask for advice on the best type of Fine Fescue for your exact needs.
Rather than be quite broad in the leaf like many other kinds of grass on the market, Fine Fescue is more narrow in its appearance. In fact, its leaves are typically quite easy to spot because they are more likely to be needle-shaped opposed to broad. This type of grass tends to mat together quite well and is suitable for areas that don’t get a lot of sunshine, but it does tend to suffer when faced with impact. Therefore, if you have pets or children who love to play outdoors, Fine Fescue might not be the best option for you.
This type of grass, when faced with drought conditions, can also suffer more than most. It is known to go dormant for periods of time, before coming back to life almost wholeheartedly when autumn showers roll in. It’s typically quite clever at defending itself against black beetles and is also easy to protect from foreign grasses.
Tip: Mow down to a height of 30mm and be aware that the seeds are slow to germinate in the beginning.
While Couch Grass is becoming a more common type of grass, it’s also quite an evasive one. Therefore, if you find yourself growing this rugged, robust grass, it’s helpful to read up on correct lawn care techniques. You want to be able to control it, rather than let it control you.
As it grows sideways, it’s a popular option for backyards that have a lot of foot traffic – such as those with children and pets. Even daily trampling is not enough to see it die away. However, if you live in an area with shade or frost, it doesn’t tend to flourish all that well. Instead, it waits for soil temperatures to increase before it takes off – often in the direction of your prized perennials.
If you live near the beach or your soil traditionally has high salt content, Couch Grass tends to be the best grass for these situations.
Tip: It has a highly intricate root system and has been known to overtake gardens and pathways. Get trigger-happy with herbicides to keep it on a short leash.
Similar to Couch Grass, Kikuyu is another type of hardwearing grass that’s perfect for the family of pets and children to play on outdoors. It’s typically found around coastal areas of New Zealand and tends to be robust while handling all kinds of extreme weather. However, it does pay to have a bottle of herbicide at the ready, and a bit of lawn care knowledge as well. Kikuyu Grass, while hardy, can be a weed. Once it finds its way into your gardens, the roots embed themselves making it difficult to reclaim the area.
Tip: If you live in an area that’s typically quite sunny, Kikuyu Grass thrives.
This is popular as a sports field grass especially during winter as it has a positive recovery. Doesn’t like the shade too much and it needs ongoing watering. This is good for full sun exposure.
Mixed blend is not usually a highly sought-after grass type. If you have your finger on the pulse of lawn care, you would certainly opt for a more low maintenance variety such as Tall Fescue. However, if you do happen to have mixed blend grass, you’ll know about it.
Mixed blend, as the name suggests, is a mixture of various types of grass seed combined. When you sow it, it can germinate at different rates – with some areas thriving a lot better than others. Once it’s fully grown, however, it does take a little bit more maintenance than other varieties, such as with lawn mowing. It can be a bit more tricky to keep under control, can wander when given the opportunity, and can prove to be a breeding ground for various weed kinds.
Then, as it’s not always noticeable what blend it is, you can have trouble trying to find suitable herbicides to kill weeds but not the grass. It’s not an unattractive lawn type – being ideal for all kinds of backyards and scenarios – but if you have a choice, you’re better to go with Tall Fescue or another variety.
Tip: Make sure you edge this variety well, providing no freedom to roam to nearby garden beds.
The New Zealand climate can vary greatly depending on where you live, which makes certain types of grass seed suitable for some areas and not others. However, no matter where you live, you can rest assured that Crewcut can keep your lawn looking in tip-top shape. Just give us a call for all of your lawn mowing and lawn care requirements.