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What's the Best Turf

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  1. #1
    Senior Member want2learn's Avatar
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    Default What's the Best Turf

    Can anyone recommend there favourite or best instant turf available. I've done considerable research and looked at many examples but I’m still undecided on what to get. Some of the examples at various nurseries are to small to project how it will look on a larger scale and there are numerous manufacturers.
    Points to note;<o></o>
    There will be no issue with water; the area will have plenty of afternoon sun and limited traffic. I'm after the best balanced looking grass for both winter and summer.<o></o>
    cheers
    Last edited by scooter; 14th Mar 2007 at 10:47 PM. Reason: tags

  2. #2
    I'm proof, there is a Dog Grunt's Avatar
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    According to Burke's Backyard they said Sir Walter was the best. Have a look at the BBY site.

    Chris



  3. #3
    Lumberlubber Bleedin Thumb's Avatar
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    Sir Walter is soooooo yesterday. Geeeez Grunt get with the program.


    Today its...Empire Zoysia.


    BTW I have never used it. I think Sir Walter was pretty ordinary as was Palmetto, ST85, Shademaster, Saphire etc etc.

    Pave the bastard and be done with it!
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  4. #4
    I'm proof, there is a Dog Grunt's Avatar
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    I'm not really in favour of lawn at all. Grow vegies instead.



  5. #5
    Senior Member Felder's Avatar
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    I was always of the opinion that Sir Walter was the ducks......errr.....knees. But my brother turfed his backyard with it, and I was most disappointed with it's hardiness. Didn't do too well over summer.

    I intend to turf our front yard next spring, so I will be keeping a close eye on this thread.


    And as to Grunt's idea of growing vegies instead of lawn.........pfffft. Sure, you can eat the produce, but where will the bindii's grow, and where will the dogs lay their eggs?
    Retired member

  6. #6
    Golden Member mic-d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felder View Post
    I was always of the opinion that Sir Walter was the ducks......errr.....knees. But my brother turfed his backyard with it, and I was most disappointed with it's hardiness. Didn't do too well over summer.

    I intend to turf our front yard next spring, so I will be keeping a close eye on this thread.


    And as to Grunt's idea of growing vegies instead of lawn.........pfffft. Sure, you can eat the produce, but where will the bindii's grow, and where will the dogs lay their eggs?
    I have a similar story to your brother. It's not as drought tolerant as they make out.
    Disappointed

  7. #7
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    We turfed a section in the poolyard with Sir Walter ($7 sq/M) thinking it would be low maintenance. I reckon the Blue Cooch we put in near the house ($2.20 sq/M) has worked out a better option for our environment. Though the Sir Walter probably doesnt need as much mowing.

  8. #8
    scooter
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    Tall fescue is the go down here, mown fairly tall, fertilised regularly with a slow release type, spot spray weeds with a broadleaf spray like Kleen Lawn or Kamba M, & vary mowing direction to avoid ruts.

    Looks teriffic, soft lush & dark green

    Don't believe what DIY shows from the northern states tell you


    Cheers..................Sean

  9. #9
    Lumberlubber Bleedin Thumb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post

    Don't believe what DIY shows from the northern states tell you


    Don and Nonie don't lie....... You can build that outdoor setting in 2 hours for just under $5.00
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  10. #10
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    I put in Sir Walter about 6 mths ago, and it is the best grass going. It stays green with little or no water (only from natural sources), it works well in shady areas and is soft underfoot.

    The only thing is that it needs to be put in properly, with the right under turf and preparation...

    You need to get it from a good supplier or you may not be getting Sir Walter.

  11. #11
    Senior Member want2learn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan View Post
    I put in Sir Walter about 6 mths ago, and it is the best grass going. It stays green with little or no water (only from natural sources), it works well in shady areas and is soft underfoot.

    The only thing is that it needs to be put in properly, with the right under turf and preparation...

    You need to get it from a good supplier or you may not be getting Sir Walter.
    You woldn't have a photo of this by any chance?

  12. #12
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    We have Sir Walter turf in our front yard. It has been there for nearly 2 years. I have been impressed by how shade tolerant it is. Part of our yard gets little or no sun during the winter months, but the grass is fine. Our yard is well drained, so I have to keep the water up to it during summer. All of the grey water from our showers goes onto it, so that isn't a problem. It is pretty high maintenance. At this time of year it needs mowing every weekend to keep it looking tidy. Also, it spreads rapidly. So think about what sort of garden edges you have (or will have) - if they are just dirt garden edges then the lawn will take over your garden unless you keep cutting it back. This, however, means that it repairs itself very well if it gets damaged, and is a nice soft, thick layer of grass.

    I've attached a photo, although this was taken just a few weeks after it was laid. It has obviously improved since then.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_1390.jpg  

  13. #13
    In with the new namtrak's Avatar
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    Basically I reckon the best turf is a mulched up native garden after that - then it's horses for courses.


    Tall Fescue
    Tall fescue is the toughest of the cool season grasses, with a dark green broadleaf. It grows all year round and creates a good-looking practical lawn. Tall fescue has a very strong root system however it will not tolerate low mowing.

    Kentucky Bluegrass
    Kentucky Bluegrass has a deep green colour with a medium to broad leaf blade. It is reasonably hard wearing and will create a beautiful lawn. However it is susceptible to disease and insect attack and needs to be maintained correctly

    Fine ryegrass

    This blend has the finest leaf of the cool season grasses available however is not as hard wearing, it will handle shade conditions and lower mowing better than other cool season grasses and can create a very fine “English” style lawn if maintained correctly.

    Soft leaf Buffalo

    Soft leaf Buffalo is excellent for high traffic areas and is much better equipped to cope with dog damage and low light conditions than other warm season varieties. Buffalo is a coarse textured grass which grows vigorously during summer, (can invade garden beds if edges are not trimmed), and may need to be de-thatched at that time of year.

    Kikuyu
    Kikuyu is coarse textured grass that is excellent for low maintenance, high traffic areas. Kikuyu grows very vigorously during summer and will grow under edging and paths to invade garden beds. Kikuyu is best suited to low maintenance open parkland or high trafficked areas.

    Fine Leaf Couch Grasses

    There are a number of fine leaf couch grasses varieties available, they are all fine leafed grass and not as vigorous and tough as buffalo or kikuyu, however they are much better equipped to cope with heat stress, insect and disease attack than any of the cool season grasses. They grow vigorously during summer, (can invade garden beds if not trimmed), and need to be de-thatched at that time of year.
    Kikuyu and Couch are probably the most common in Australia, however are also the most invasive. ie if you have garden beds nearby these grasses will infiltrate the beds.

    Buffalo, is not as an invasive and is solid wearing like kikuyu.

    Ryegrass is not invasive at all but is not very hard wearing at all

    Fescue is one of my favourites but does need a fair bit of water, and should be mown high.

    Kikuyu is probably the cheapest at around $4 per metre. (depends on how much you order) Buffalo comes in anywhere from $5 to upto $8 per metre.

    Beware if you buy seed mixtures from hardware stores that you read the ingredients. A lot of them have a high % of fescue and rye, which is fine - but included is a mix of couch and kikuyu which will eventually take over the whole lawn regardless.

  14. #14
    Golden Member HappyHammer's Avatar
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    I have Sir Walter and I'm very happy with it. It's soft underfoot and grows really well in the shade and I never water it although we are blessed with reasonable rainfall here.

    When the builders were staining the timber screens for our extension they did it on the grass and killed a spot about 2 metres square. This was about 4 months ago and it has now completely repaired itself.

    Previous comments regarding borders are correct it needs to be kept in check.

    HH.
    Always look on the bright side...

  15. #15
    Lumberlubber Bleedin Thumb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namtrak View Post
    Basically I reckon the best turf is a mulched up native garden after that - then it's horses for courses.

    .

    Couldn't agree more. Who wants to mow grass? I can't even find a reliable contractor to do mine.

    Lawn is a PITA.
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  16. #16
    Member Ian Smith's Avatar
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    Level it, pave it , and paint it green

  17. #17
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    I notice you didnt indicate where you live, which makes lawn recommendations a little hard.

    Having said that, I am in Canberra and have Sir Walter in the back (that we laid) and Canberra Blend (rye/fescue blend I think) in the front (laid by previous owners)

    I can not speak highly enough of the Sir Walter. It remains green with approximately 1/4 of the water necessary to keep the front green, is reasonably frost tollerant (it did get hit last year by the early frosts) and hardy wearing if you can spread foot traffic over a wide area.

    We have an 800mm gap between garden beds that we subsequently have put steppers into as the traffic was too constant for the grass to take.

    It is low maintenance requiring about 1/2 the fertilizer of the front and both get mowed weekly at the moment. About once a month in winter.

    Hope this helps you.

  18. #18
    Senior Member want2learn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys, I'm going to try a turf farm south of Melbourne tomorrow with some of the suggestions listed above and see what i like and hopefully make a decision. Im probably still a couple of weeks off as im waiting for my mate to return with his bobcat to level the area. As much as paving the area sounds a good option at the moment, i still think there's nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass on a saturday afternoon
    Last edited by want2learn; 23rd Mar 2007 at 10:55 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
    Dust Maker Geoff Dean's Avatar
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    Stay away from Tall Fescue. I put in around 150 m2 of it and it is the weakest grass I have ever seen. It may look great, is a lovely green, but that is where it finishes.

    I does not stand up well to traffic, if the dog pees on it it dies, and it is not self repairing.

    I am now using kikuyu to repair all areas that need doing, with the hope that it will eventually take over from the fescue.
    Regards,
    Geoff

  20. #20
    Lumberlubber Bleedin Thumb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by want2learn View Post
    i still think there's nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass on a saturday afternoon

    That would be the Hippies next door.
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  21. #21
    3K Club Member johnc's Avatar
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    Our back yard is Rye, with a bit of Fescue, but the front lawn is Paspalum, Cape Weed and Couch in Summer, but in winter we get a nice spread of Bindii which keeps it looking nice and green. The front slopes away and faces west where it catches the prevailing wind, after many earlier attempts at establishing a quality lawn only to loose it every hot summer we gave up.

    I would have to say what we are left with is pretty drought tolerant until this year when we even lost the Cape Weed.

    Next year we intend to sow down Buffalo as a last ditched attempt to have a real lawn.

    John.

  22. #22
    Apprentice (new member) Poly's Avatar
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    We have Sir Walter in our back garden & would have to say it "looks great" stands up well to drought/heavy foot traffic/shade etc...I don't think you could go wrong with it!!

  23. #23
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    Go with a mix of clover and bindii.
    When one dies off the other takes over and will give an all year green cover.
    The clover will also attract the local bees (put a plate of water out for them too) and the binbii gives the high traffic areas a rest

  24. #24
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    I have had about 100 meters of sir walter down for a month. The guy who put it down laid some gypsum then about 10cm of really nice dirt then a little fertiliser. It took about one week to look fantastic and still does. Not much water needed to get going. The guy who laid it said preparation was the key to this stuff.

    I have already started driving my lawn tractor all over with no problems.

    I have no hesitation in recommending it. The only down side is that it grows quite quick and needs frequent mowing. HOwever I am told this slows down after about 12 months.
    Part Time Wood Filler

  25. #25
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    we had blue couch out the front and green couch out the back.

    now with all our water restrictions we have now have is a mixture of dirt and weeds only
    all the turf is dead

    we ended up making the whole front yard a garden full of stuff that doesn't need watering

  26. #26
    Landscaper Planned LScape's Avatar
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    Hey guys I do a fair bit of turfing jobs as part of my business (landscaping) in Melbourne.

    I usually recommend & lay Sir Walter Buffalo particularly with the drought conditions of late, lately I have used Palmetto as it has a softer textured leaf blade, it is the US bred version.

    The key with buffalo is to have a good prep of base soil, addition of organic soil, sprinkle on some water granules before laying, and put a layer of washed sand over the top, so much so that the whole lot looks like a beach. It looks weird for a few days but the sand acts as a mulch, holds the turf down and aids in turf roll spreading and establishment. The bugger with buffalo is that the roots are as tough as wire and are hard to cut, although they arent as invasive as couch which send sub-soil runners. It also goes a bit light green/yellow during winter which is a bit of dormancy, you can top dress with sandy loam and put some rye or blue seed in there for winter colour.

    Fescue is great looking, but needs more water and not as hard wearing. Rye probably a bit worse.

    A great idea to have a decent water tank before laying, fresh water will always be better to water with, it has no chlorine which can dry things a bit quicker.

  27. #27
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    G'day,
    Just thought I'd drag this thread up again as I have the best part of 1000 sqm to turf. We're in absolutely no hurry for it to look good and would rather not fork out several $k to turf the whole lot in one go.

    Does anyone know if grass plugs are available in Oz? I've seen quite a bit about them on US websites, but not a lot here. Alternatively, could you cut turf into say 100x100 sections and use these instead of the plugs?

    Cheers

  28. #28
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    I always find discussions about lawns amusing. I hate the stuff and try and grow plants where I can, or totally ignore the stuff (lawnmowers being very polluting). Remarkably I always have a good looking lawn. I think my back yard is cooch (the stuff that has long runners). i don't water it, not even grey water and mow it only when I start losing the kids!! It thrives on neglect. I use old bricks for a border which seems to keep it out of garden areas, except where it grows over the top, but you can just pull it out before it gets too much of a hold. Even dug it all up for some plumbing work a few years back, took no time at all to cover over. Do you want me to dig some up and send to you????
    Cheers
    McBlurter

  29. #29
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    Yes please.

    For 1000 sqm that'll be a few thousand plugs. Your tongue might get a little dry licking all those envelopes. It might need a little 'lubrication' while you're doing it

    Cheers

  30. #30
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    I put down about 120m2 of sir walter around 3 years ago under two large mango trees where the grass never grew due to the trees shading the area for most of the day.

    Since Brisbane has had the drought, the rest of the yard thaty doesn't receive a water from the washing machine has turned to dirt while the sir walter although has gone brown is at least providing some ground cover and returns to green after a good drench which it has been almost 4 months since that happened.

    I'd agree with good preparation since you can spend a foortune on it, and watch out for lawn grubs. I've had them destroy large patches and friends with Sir Walter have had problems with the grubs. Spray every 3-4 weeks when they're active.

  31. #31
    Landscaper Planned LScape's Avatar
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    You can buy plugs or sprigs in various species of grass. Commercial turf companies sell it and lawn contractors use it on large areas in need of couch/buffalo to be cheaper than all instant turf.

    A few years back a tractor guy we had levelling an oval used a hopper on his tractor to spread sprigs of grass throughout one of the gardens in Melbourne (Fitzroy or one of those). It was basically bags of torn up grass spread over prepared soil then levelled over to get maximum soil contact.
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  32. #32
    scooter
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    Sprigging works a treat with kikuyu or couch

  33. #33
    Senior Member want2learn's Avatar
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    Hi Guys, After much reading here and looking at various types and speaking to a few family and friends i've decided to go Palmetto. Its a softer buffalo around $9 a meter, low watering and can tolerate some shade. I'll post some pics up shortly when its in, trying to finish my 12m merbau/brush fence atm.

    cheers

  34. #34
    Landscaper Planned LScape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by want2learn View Post
    Hi Guys, After much reading here and looking at various types and speaking to a few family and friends i've decided to go Palmetto. Its a softer buffalo around $9 a meter, low watering and can tolerate some shade. I'll post some pics up shortly when its in, trying to finish my 12m merbau/brush fence atm.

    cheers

    Good stuff mate, Palmetto is virtually the US version of Sir Walter but as you said isnt as hard leafed as Walter. Easier to lay too, not as tough!
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