A lush green lawn is enough to make any space appealing. Lawns can act as the perfect way to line your garden or accentuate the front of your home to make it feel warm and welcoming.
Apart from looking great, a grassy lawn comes with a whole host of other benefits. A lawn can act as a great space for kids to play or for entertaining guests. It has the ability to improve air quality and decrease pollution levels. It can also have a cooling effect in hot climates. Not only this, but the root structure of grass can help to increase the stability and quality of the soil within which it grows, preventing erosion and degradation of the land. It can also act as a filter, absorbing, redirecting and slowing the flow of polluted water, thus preventing it from reaching water supplies.
For all these reasons, grass remains a top choice amongst gardeners as a canvas on which to lay their designs. These days, there is a whole host of options when it comes to selecting your grass type, with something for every situation. With so much choice, it can be difficult to decide what’s best for you, so now let’s take a look at which types of grass are best for your garden.
Seeds vs Lawn Turf
When it comes to growing a lawn, it can be tempting to just lay down some ready-grown lawn turf for an instant effect. However, by doing this you may miss out on the many benefits to be reaped from sowing grass seeds which are selected according to your specific needs.
The obvious draw of using turf is its speed and efficiency, but if you really want to get the most out of your lawn then seeds are the way to go. Not only can seeds be tailored to fit your purposes, they are also vastly cheaper than lawn turf and are far easier to lay down. Seeds are more adept at handling difficult conditions, such as heavy soil or shaded areas, and it is easier to repair worn down patches with seeds rather than replacing patches of turf.
So, how quickly can you sprout a grassy lawn using grass seeds, and which ones are the most efficient when it comes to growth?
Choosing a Grass Variety
As with any plant, different types of grass thrive within different soils, settings and climates. This is why it’s essential that you research which variety or blend will work best in your particular circumstances, as no two gardens are the same.
If you live in a relatively neutral climate, then most types of grass have the potential to do well, but you will still need to focus on matters of soil quality and sun exposure. The light conditions and watering that your grass receives are the two key factors that will determine its success.
Cool-season grasses are liable to do well in seasonal climates, where there are hot summers and cold winters. Fescue, Bent, Poa Pratensis and Perennial Ryegrass are good choices. For areas with warm and humid weather year-round, warm-season grasses are preferable as they grow best in temperatures of between 24°C to around 32°C and then go dormant during winter temperatures. Zoysia, Bermuda, Centipede and St. Augustine are seed varieties which are more suited to warmer climates.
It is important to note that a blend of two or more different variations of seed is usually far more effective than using one type on its own.
Top Fast-Growing Warm-Season Grass Types
When it comes to warm-season grasses, Bermudagrass is the resounding winner in terms of speed of growth. With the capability to germinate in as little as one week, Bermudagrass is by far the fastest growing contender. In the right climate, this seed can grow into a thick and durable lawn. However, this grass type requires warm soil temperatures of 21°C and upwards in order to grow quickly.
Top Fast-Growing Cool-Season Grass Types
In terms of cool-season grass types, there is a little more choice, as listed here:
- Ryegrass – Annual and perennial Ryegrass are some of the fastest growing cool-season grass types around. In favourable conditions, Ryegrass can germinate in between one week to ten days to create a thick and luscious lawn. Just be aware that it has a tendency to go dormant when temperatures rise, after which it may not regrow, so it works best when planted during the Autumn months and when used in combination with another type of seed. Failing to do this may result in quick growth but fleeting effects.
- Fescue – Fescue seed can begin to grow in ten to fourteen days, making it another great choice for fast growth rates. This grass type is capable of developing deep roots, which make for a durable and drought-resistant lawn that remains green all year round.
- Poa Pratensis – Otherwise known as Kentucky Bluegrass, Poa Pratensis can germinate in between two to four weeks. It is often mixed with Ryegrass for an effective and powerful combination. Once it is up and running, it is able to grow quickly throughout Autumn, Winter and Spring time.
Caring for Your Grass
In most cases, grass will grow well with around twenty minutes of watering, twice a week. In order to get an even coverage of water, it is best to use sprinklers or an irrigation system, rather than trying to water by hand. This is far less time-consuming and miles more effective.
If you don’t water your lawn often enough, then the soil will dry out and the grass will wither. This may also result in hydrophobic soil, which is so dry that it is unable to absorb water, and instead repels it causing the roots of your grass to suffer.
It is best to set your sprinklers to go off early in the morning, as in the middle of the day when the sun is highest, it is likely to sap much of the moisture out through evaporation. It is not advisable to water in the evening, as this can create conditions which are favourable to fungus so it may result in your grass dying out.
You should maintain your watering system well, checking regularly that the sprinkler heads are functioning and spinning as they should be and that they are angled correctly to get the best coverage.
With the right grass-type and the appropriate care, you could be on your way to growing a lush green lawn in no time!