Establishing a new lawn

Careful preparation can significantly reduce the water requirements of your lawn – saving you both essential time and money used in upkeep every year.

Installing lawn as a ground cover is a popular choice for many homes as it helps cool the home and provides an area for families and pets to enjoy the outdoors. Ensuring that a lawn is water efficient is increasingly important in our drying climate, so here are some ways you can establish a new lawn.

Turf options

When installing a lawn, look for a warm season grass to save time on watering and maintenance. The following lawn varieties are drought tolerant and suitable for WA's warm conditions:

  • Soft leaf – non irritant.
  • Disease, weed and fungus resistant.
  • Low allergy.
  • Low to medium spreading rate into garden beds.
  • Low maintenance level.
  • Moderate to good wear, recuperative, self-repairing and becomes green quickly.
  • Requires minimum 2–4 hours direct sunlight daily.

Soft leaf buffalos should ideally be mown every 7–10 days during summer at a height of approximately 15–20mm and in winter every 3–5 weeks at a similar height.

  • Soft leaf – non irritant.
  • Non invasive.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Excellent resistance to weeds, pests and diseases.
  • Minimal thatch.
  • Immaculate appearance and colour.

Requires 5–6 hours of sunlight per day Queensland Blue should ideally be mown every 10–14 days during summer at a height of 10–13mm and in winter mow every 4–5 weeks and raise the mowing height to 14–16mm. Verti-mowing or scarifying in spring is recommended every 2–3 years.

  • Soft leaf - non irritant
  • Non-invasive
  • Low maintenance level
  • Tolerates high salt environments
  • Grows in full sun or filtered shade

Velvetene should ideally be mown every 7-14 days during summer at a height of 10-12mm and in winter mow every 21-35 days and raise the mowing height to approximately 15-18mm.

  • Soft leaf - non irritant
  • Low to medium spreading rate into garden beds
  • Moderate maintenance required
  • Excellent wear, recuperative
  • Responds well to fertilisers and becomes green quickly
  • Disease and pest resistant
  • Requires minimum 4-5 hours direct sunlight daily

Couch grasses should ideally be mown every 10-14 days during summer at a height of 10-12mm and in winter it should be mown every 3-5 weeks raising the mowing height to approximately 12-16mm.

  • Soft leaf – low irritant
  • Medium maintenance due to medium to high spreading rate into garden beds
  • Regular mowing is required to avoid build-up of stems or runners
  • Excellent wear, recuperative and becomes green quickly
  • Excellent disease and pest resistance
  • Requires minimum 5-6 hours direct sunlight daily

Kikuyu grasses should ideally be mown every 10-14 days during summer at a height of approximately 12-16mm and in winter mow every 3-5 weeks and raise the mowing height to approximately 16-20mm.

  • Soft leaf - non irritant
  • Excellent resistance to weeds, pests and diseases
  • Excellent cold hardiness
  • Easy weed control
  • Low water usage
  • Less mowing

Zoysia should ideally be mown every 14-21 days during summer at a height of approximately 15-20mm and in winter mow every 3-5 weeks at a similar height.

Before installing your lawn it's important to prepare and amend the soil to provide a healthy base for growth. Incorporating soil amendments, a soil wetting agent and slow release fertiliser into the top 15cm  will dramatically improve both water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil and enabling longer periods between watering and a healthier lawn.

For further information on establishing your waterwise lawn, please download our guide:

Installing and caring for your low maintenance lawn

To establish your lawn you will need to water it more often in the first few weeks. To do so you will need to apply for an exemption to your watering roster. To apply call the Waterwise Helpline on 13 10 39.

To learn how you can establish a new lawn, check out this video:

Read a transcript of this video (new window)

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