For Canberra’s residents, Australia’s capital provides some unique challenges for growing the perfect lawn. While summer is relatively mild when compared to other Australian cities, winter can get exceedingly cold, and frosts are all too common. And while rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year, Canberra is actually 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 that are prone to cool winters, with its tolerance to frost and its beautiful deep green hue both 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 is able to bounce back from high traffic or sports use far quicker than traditional perennial ryegrass. It’s also low maintenance, and resistant to pests and disease.
Elite Backyard Blend
Mckays’ Elite Backyard Blend is exactly what it says on the packet – one of the best options for Australian backyards there is. It uses Sports Turf Ryegrass, Turf Tall Fescue and Creeping Red Fescue in combination 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.
Bentgrassis 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 7 days of sowing under the right conditions (soil temperature at 18C). The colour 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 are 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 absolutely stunning, and when combined with the grass’s natural shade, frost and traffic tolerance, makes for one of the very 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 itself 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 utilises 50 percent Turf Type Tall Fescue, 40 percent Kentucky Bluegrass and 10 percent slow release fertiliser to offer up a grass that is hardy, beautiful and low maintenance. Popular with councils and sporting clubs that have a larger area to cover, Parks Blend doesn’t need much assistance to get growing, and will happily thrive without the need for 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 McKays have many more which will also be up to the task. For any more help with seeding your backyard, don’t hesitate to give the friendly team at McKays a call.
You can view our entire range here.