Turf Tips: Is your turf fit for purpose?
This week’s turf tip asks an important question, is your turf fit for purpose? We have just published an in depth case study that looks at the problem modern Australian backyards face, and thought we’d share a few of the key points here too.
Yards are changing
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the average percentage of residential block taken up by the house has grown from 27% in 1985 to 85% in 2012. This astronomical growth has put huge pressure on the unchanged grass varieties still used in modern backyards that aren’t fit for purpose for shaded lawns.
Traditionally the Australian backyard was a quarter acre block. However during the 1990’s, housing trends changed. Houses became bigger and blocks became smaller putting far more shade on backyard areas. Previously yards were all couch grass mowed short into cricket pitches, now new fit for purpose lawns are required.
Shade is a huge factor
The weakness of couch grass is its thirst for large amounts of direct sunlight, with research from the University of Hawaii finding it requires a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. While open spaces such footpaths may obtain this amount of direct sunlight, enclosed back yard lawns will rarely see this much sun. Because of this, couch grass is not “fit for purpose” for a yard, that does not get a large volume of direct sunlight every day.
When we choose the front door for our house, we ensure it is fit for purpose. The door is carefully selected, with security and strength a key factor. We would never use an internal door as our front door just because it is cheaper. Performance of the item is the driving factor in the purchase; it has to be fit for purpose. You need to use the same principle when looking for a new or replacement lawn.
The cheapest turf can cost you more
The minimal cost savings of installing a lawn that is not fit for purpose are completely offset by increased lifetime costs of both lawn maintenance and the risk of the lawn requiring replacement.
Both homeowners and builders need to pay closer attention to the conditions a new lawn will face. They must focus on climatic conditions especially the factor of shade, not price. By using the amount of direct sunlight a new lawn will receive, the lawn installed will be fit for purpose. This will deliver lower maintenance costs for the life of the lawn.
The liveability of green spaces in modern backyards will also benefit from a focus on fit for purpose lawn types. With parents already struggling to get children to swap screen time for green time, without the added complication of dusty and worn out lawns that cannot thrive or survive in the shade.
You can read more on fit for purpose including the full case study at www.jimboombaturf.com.au/fit-for-purpose-turf
To get some advice on what turf variety would be fit for purpose for your property; call our team on (07) 3114 8230. If you want to pop in and order in person, our office is located at 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge; and is open Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm.
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