At the very top of the Australian continent, the tropical heat and susceptibility to extreme weather conditions can make for a testing environment for plants to grow. And not all plants are up to the task. With the four seasons replaced with simply wet and dry, and with no break from the intense 12-month-long heat, it takes a very specific type of plant to be able to cope.
When it comes to lawn, there are just a few grass species that will not only survive but thrive in this environment. Here are six grass varieties that should be on your wish-list if you’re a resident of far north Australia.
McKays’ Sahara Bermuda Couch
With a love of sun and heat that you’d expect from a plant that is called ‘Sahara Bermuda’, this couch grass loves the tropical climes of far north Australia.
The key feature of Bermuda is its hardiness. With a root system that is as extensive as almost any grass, it can survive extended periods of drought, as well as periods of waterlogging. It can also grow in almost any soil, from sandy coastal conditions to dense, clay-heavy soils.
For a low-maintenance tropical grass, there’s almost no better choice.
McKays’ Queensland Blue Couch
Mckays’ Queensland Blue is a couch grass that combines the variety’s standard love of sun and hardiness with an ability to grow super quickly.
Queensland Blue is one of the fastest growing types of couch available, and if it’s given the right growing conditions (plenty of sun and temperatures over 25C, i.e. far north Australia) you’ll have a fully grown and established lawn well within two months.
Throw in a surprising softness and a beautiful blue tinge, and you’ve got yourself a stunning tropical lawn option.
McKays’ Princess 77 Couch
For those looking for the Rolls-Royce of couch grasses, look no further than Mckays’ Princess 77.
A favourite of golf courses across far north Australia, Princess 77 was bred to handle the sun and heat, and look good while doing it. The thickest, softest and most beautiful couch grass available, it still retains the traditional couch hardiness, with a drought and traffic resistance that will keep it looking good no matter what the situation.
A native of far north Australia and South East Asia, zoysia is a brilliant tropical all-rounder.
Zoysia combines features such as fantastic traffic tolerance, drought resistance and low maintenance requirements into a thick, dense mat of soft and beautiful grass. One of the surprising features of zoysia, for a tropical grass, is its shade tolerance. Whereas couch will only cope with 10 percent shade, zoysia can handle up to 40 percent, making it ideal for backyards surrounded by trees.
Be mindful that zoysia is a particularly slow-growing grass, and may take quite a while to establish.
On the other end of the speed scale, Mckay’s kikuyu is one of the most aggressive and quickest growing grasses available.
This quick growing nature means that any damage that is caused by traffic is quickly repaired, making kikuyu perfect for sports clubs and child-friendly backyards. Its softness underfoot also helps with this, making for hours of itchless fun for the kids. Minimal lawn care is needed, although you will have to keep a close eye on its runners to ensure it doesn’t take over your whole garden.
McKays’ Carpet Grass
When it comes to Mckays’ carpet grass, the name says it all. A grass that grows with a thick, dense sod, it provides a living green carpet for your yard.
An unfussy grass that can cope with subpar soils and minimal upkeep, carpet grass has a tendency to spread out, meaning that your lawn should be well barriered to ensure the grass stays where it should.
One thing to note about carpet grass is its shallow root system, which can cause issues in dry periods. Occasional irrigation may be required.
There’s certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to grass varieties for far north Australia. If you’re still undecided about what would be the perfect match for your patch, be sure to contact the friendly team at McKays.