For Canberra’s residents, Australia’s capital provides some unique challenges for growing the perfect lawn. While summer is relatively mild compared to other Australian cities, winter can get exceedingly cold, and frosts are too expected. And while rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year, Canberra is the third driest city in Australia.
So what does all this mean for a Canberran who’s hoping to plant a majestic square of turf? It simply means that you’ll need to be careful with which variety you choose. Here are five of the best grass selections for Canberra available from Mckays.
RPR Perennial Ryegrass
Perennial Ryegrass is a popular choice for areas prone to cool winters, with its tolerance to frost and its beautiful deep green hue drawing in lawn owners. But the trade-off has historically been that it’s not a particularly hard-wearing grass. Without stolons that allow the grass to regenerate quickly, the damage done by general wear and tear can be evident weeks and even months down the track.
That’s where Mckays’ RPR Perennial Ryegrass comes in. RPR stands for regenerating perennial ryegrass, meaning this variety can bounce back from high traffic or sports use far more quickly than traditional perennial ryegrass. It’s also low maintenance and resistant to pests and disease. Strawberry clover is a good choice as it is a herbaceous perennial plant.
Elite Backyard Blend
Mckays’ Elite Backyard Blend is exactly what it says on the packet – one of the best options for Australian backyards. It combines Sports Turf Ryegrass, Turf Tall Fescue, and Creeping Red Fescue to deliver a stunning-looking mat of grass that will stay green and healthy all year round.
With outstanding shade, traffic, and frost tolerance, Mckays’ Elite Backyard Blend is a terrific option for your Canberra backyard. Lush and soft, it makes it the perfect surface for kids (and adults) to enjoy all year round.
Bentgrass is another cool season grass that seems almost built for Canberran conditions. One of the best characteristics of Bentgrass is its stunning germination time, with the seeds beginning to germinate within just seven days of sowing under the right conditions (soil temperature at 18C). The color and denseness of Bentgrass make it a popular choice for golf fairways.
Traffic tolerance is high, making it great for backyards and sporting fields that see a bit of action, and shade, frost, and drought resistance is also good.
The go-to grass of the US, over the years, Kentucky Bluegrass has made a name for itself as one of the most beautiful turf options available. The trademark blue hue is stunning, and when combined with the grass’s natural shade, frost, and traffic tolerance, it makes for one of the best choices for your Canberra backyard.
Rather uniquely for a cool season grass, Kentucky Bluegrass has runners that allow it to spread. Although these stolons are far less aggressive than those of warm season grasses such as couch and Kikuyu. This means that your Kentucky Bluegrass will eventually spread out over your backyard but generally won’t take over your veggie patch or flower beds before you can do anything about it.
Another blend well suited to Canberra’s climate, Mckays’ Parks Blend utilizes 50 percent Turf Type Tall Fescue, 40 percent Kentucky Bluegrass, and 10 percent slow-release fertilizer to offer up grass hardy, beautiful, and low maintenance. Popular with councils and sporting clubs with a larger area to cover. Parks Blend doesn’t need much assistance to grow and will happily thrive without much extra help.
One thing to consider with Parks Blend is your irrigation, as its drought tolerance could be tested in Canberra’s relatively dry climate. Be sure to irrigate the turf if you experience an extended dry spell.
While these five grasses are all great options for Canberrans, the team at McKay’s has many more, which will also be up to the task. The McKay team specializes in lawn coring Canberra also. Don’t hesitate to call the friendly team at McKay’s for more help with seeding your backyard.
You can view our entire range here.
1. What is the best grass to grow in Canberra?
The best grass to grow in Canberra:
• RPR Perennial Ryegrass
• Elite Backyard Blend
• Bentgrass (Penncross)
• Kentucky Bluegrass
• Parks Blend
2. When should I plant grass seed in Canberra?
In Canberra, autumn is the best time to establish a lawn. The still-warm soil of late August, September, October, or November promotes optimal root growth while cooling air temperatures discourage excessive top growth. This is ideal for establishing lawn grasses and encouraging deep root growth with drought resistant grass seeds.
3. What type of grass is Canberra blended?
Canberra is a cross between Tall Fine Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. It is soft on the feet while withstanding the rigorous demands of an active outdoor lifestyle.
4. What are the likes of Canberra grass?
Canberra grass is popular because it requires full sun to maintain its compact form, has good drainage properties, and protects the lawn from frost and wet in the winter.