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Choosing the Right Turf For The Job
Buying turf is a bit like buying a car. It’s not something you do very often (unless you’re a landscaper) and until you start doing your research, you don’t realise how many different types there are.
So where do you begin choosing the right turf for your project?
What will your turf be used for?
Just like buying a car, the first thing you SHOULD think about is “What’s it for?”
Turf for a family lawn where rough and tumble are par for the course, is quite different from the turf you would use for a bowling green. On the other hand, it’s not unlike sports turf.
Lawns for sprogs and dogs need ryegrass to make them tough and they need smoothstalked meadow grass so that they can repair themselves.
Ornamental lawns and bowling greens need fescue grasses and bent grasses that cope well with being mown really short.
Will your lawn be in the shade?
Shade is an important factor to think about. Not all of the grass species in commercially grown turf will thrive in the shade of trees or buildings.
Turf is normally grown from a blend of different grass species. Be vigilant. If your lawn is going to be in shade for more than half of the day, choose a turf that contains a high proportion of Poa Supina. I know, it’s a bit of a mouthful to pronounce but it handles shade, drought and waterlogging really well. It’ll be happy in sunshine too – so if your lawn is half and half, you can use the same turf throughout.
You’d think wouldn’t you, that somebody like me, who’s been promoting turfgrass for the last 20 years, would be a bit obsessive about lawn care. Well I’m not. I know how to do it. But I don’t have time. So I need an easily maintained lawn.
I mow once or twice a week in spring and early summer. I feed my lawn every 6 weeks or so and I spot treat weeds from time to time. But I rarely scarify or aerate my lawn. Consequentially, it’s no show lawn.
It is however a playground for 2 grandsons, 3 hens, 2 dogs, me, visitors and the wild birds that like to forage for worms.
I’m guessing that most family lawns are the same. Once again, ryegrass is key. Especially disease resistant varieties.
If I had the time to care for it properly I would use fine turf in my front garden. It’s only tiny and doesn’t get walked on much so is the perfect foil for a perfect lawn. A ryegrass-free turf is what is called for here. But beware; every weed will stick out like a sore thumb and it’ll need mowing 3-4 times a week in the growth season otherwise it’ll become shaggy and awful.
Cost of turf
Here’s the crux of the matter. At the end of the day it all comes down to budget. You need the best possible turf for your job at the best possible price.
If you can afford to, it’s always worth paying just a little bit extra. Like most “budget” products, cheap turf sometimes needs a little more TLC and effort to turn it into a luxury lawn. Better quality turf holds together better in the roll and is quicker and easier to lay.
Help with choosing the right turf for you
Q Lawns have created a handy turf selector tool. It’s online and it doesn’t ask for any information about you – just your lawn and what you want from it.
It asks 5 simple questions and then shows you the most suitable turf for you. Easy.