Maintaining a healthy and lush lawn is pretty simple.
Just like humans, it all comes down to a few basics:

  • Health check-ups
  • A good feed and
  • A killer haircut!

First, you’ll need to give your lawn a health check to identify any common problems you might have to address.

You’ll be lucky if you don’t have a problem with one of these! Getting on top of them as soon as possible would be best, or they will take over your lawn with a vengeance.

Pull more enormous weeds & their roots out by hand, or depending on their variety, spray them with a broad-leaved herbicide that targets general weeds such as bindi and clover but will not kill your lawn (lawns aren’t broad-leaved plants, so they’re immune to those specific herbicides).

Most Pests problems can be treated by applying a lawn insecticide followed by light watering. This should be completed late afternoon to early evening as insects are most active after dark.

If you’re struggling to grow your grass – particularly in dry and shady areas – consider changing your turf variety to one better suited to your climate and conditions. Eureka Kikuyu and Nullarbor Couch are two varieties that can withstand plenty of sun and heat. Shade-tolerant varieties such as Sir Walter Buffalo are your best bet for places that don’t get much sun.

Give It the Good Stuff!

When you’ve addressed some of the most common problem areas, the next step is to give your lawn a bit of TLC to make it grow lovely and lush.

Feed Your Lawn. Regular proper fertilising – whether it’s with chemical, organic or liquid fertilisers – will give your lawn all the nutrients it needs to keep it healthy and in peak condition.

The best time to fertilise is when your lawn is actively growing in the warmer months of spring to mid-summer and even as late as autumn. You should nevertheless avoid fertilising in hot weather and opt for early morning feeding. Most chemical fertilisers require watering before and after so it doesn’t over-nourish and “burn” the lawn.

If your lawn is not responding to the fertiliser, it is a good idea to check your soil with a pH testing kit to determine if it is too acidic or lacking a specific nutrient. You can address pH imbalances or nutrient deficiencies by applying a suitable fertiliser or additive to the grass.

Water Your Lawn. Like us, lawns prefer nice long showers! Unlike us, your lawn doesn’t have to shower every day. Less frequent, deep watering will encourage a more substantial and deeper root system, thus equipping the lawn to deal with dry periods. Like most other lawn maintenance tasks, watering is best done in the early morning to avoid evaporation, and you should only water when the grass needs it.

To ensure you’re watering enough, a simple test is to stick a screwdriver into the soil. If the moisture level is good, the screwdriver should quickly go all the way in – to a depth of around 250mm. If you can only push it in a little without forcing it too hard, then this shows that the soil is too compacted. Compacted soil won’t let enough water seep down into the roots. So …

Aerate Your Lawn. Give the garden fork a workout by poking holes throughout your lawn. This will help water and fertiliser sink into the soil, improve oxygen circulation, and prevent weeds from establishing in the compacted ground.
Plus it’s good exercise for you too. Who needs a gym when you’ve got a garden?

And finally …

The Killer Haircut.
The ultimate lawn care and mowing secret it comes down to simply one thing:

Keep the grass long and cut often.

For a thick and lush lawn, only remove one-third of the leaf per mow and mow regularly.
Most people cut their lawns too short for two reasons:

1) They don’t like mowing, so they don’t mow as often as they should.
2) They justify over-cutting by thinking that the lower the cut, the longer it will take before they have to mow again. Unfortunately, grass has different ideas.

In nature, animals that graze tend only to eat the grass tips, so that’s what grass is used to. Over-cutting, like over-grazing, can be a hindrance to the grass. It can put your lawn under extreme stress, and over-cut grass will encourage bare patches where weeds will grow instead.

Longer grass promotes better root development, shades the ground, reduces evaporation and blocks the sun that weed seeds require to germinate.

So grass mowed and fertilised often and watered properly will produce a healthier lawn with fewer weeds and problems- that’s a win-win for you and your lawn!

And, of course, if you don’t like mowing, don’t have the time, or don’t know what might be wrong with your lawn or what to do, then the simplest solution is to let Fox Mowing look after your lawn for you. And while we’re in your garden, we can do a lot of other stuff to get your garden looking and feeling its best.


You might think that there’s not much to lawn mowing other than being able to turn on and push a mower around until, eventually, by this miracle of modern technology, the grass is cut short! However, if you’re after a healthy lawn, and not just a cut one, then following a few simple tips and applying some professional techniques can make a HUGE difference in the appearance of your lawn and make the ongoing maintenance of your lawn a lot easier.

A well-cared-for lawn cut and well-maintained will be healthy enough to withstand Aussie heat and dryness better than poorly kept lawns. When you look after grass properly, the lawn will be far less susceptible to weeds and bug problems.
Correct mowing techniques are essential to encouraging the growth of great-looking grass.

Mower Blades

To start with, your mower’s cutting blades need to be sharp. Sharp blades are a must for any tool you use for any cutting you do in your garden – whether it’s hedging, pruning or sawing – and mowing is no exception.

It’s essential to have sharp mowing blades so that the grass is sliced as it passes over the grass blades. Dull blades tear the grass. Torn grass looks frayed and messy, but the tearing also results in bruised and browned edges. This ragged edge of torn grass tips encourages increased water loss and increased susceptibility to disease to the whole lawn.

Your mower might not get as much workout in the cooler months, but as soon as spring comes around and the grass grows, your mower must be up to the job.
Around mid-August is a good time to do a routine check of your lawn mower and sharpen the blades if they look and feel blunt. With sharpened blades, your lawn mower will work a lot better, and you’ll have a better-looking, healthier lawn.

Of course, sharpening your lawn mower blades is an art and skill, so for a primer on how to do that, go here, which is part of the more significant subject of lawn maintenance.

Mowing Height

The grass isn’t just grass. There are over 11,000 species and over 60,000 varieties worldwide.
Australia has over 1,300 native and naturalised grass species with thousands of sub-types.

Every type of grass is different and has different mowing requirements, so check what kind of turf you have because there’ll be a recommended height to cut the grass to encourage optimal growth and health, or as the pros say, “optimal performance”. Remember that you might have more than one type of grass on your property, so you’ll have to adjust the mowing height for each type.

Sounds complicated? Well, let’s make things a little easier.
The general rule of thumb is to remove not more than one-third of the leaf blade per cutting.
Even if your lawn is long and overgrown, this rule still applies. With long, overgrown grass, the aim is to gradually reduce the height of the lawn over several mows until it reaches the desired length. This is to avoid “shocking” or “stressing” the grass. Cutting too much at once damages the turf because it needs time to adjust to a new level. After all, grass is a living thing; it needs time to adapt.

For protection against the weather, it is always recommended to leave the grass a bit longer in cooler months, shaded areas and particularly in the peak of summer. Keeping the grass relatively long increases its tolerance to heat and drought. It reduces evaporation and cools and shades the soil so weed seeds don’t germinate.

People often think they should cut the grass as short as possible to wait longer for the next mow. At first appearance, this might seem like a “get out of gaol-free card”. This attitude is understandable if you think lawn mowing is an unpleasant chore you want to avoid for as long as possible.

Cutting too much grass off all at once is called “scalping”, and as the word implies, it involves mowing too low and exposing the scalp or, in this case, the lower section of the length of the blade that’s close to the root system. Scalping can wreak havoc on your lawn.
Remember that the grass blade is the grass food production unit and its insulation simultaneously. Over-cutting increases water loss through the cut leaf and reduces carbohydrate food production and storage. Essentially, an over-cut grass is a starving grass. It’s also an exposed grass, leaving the grass plant susceptible to heat, cold and drought. Over-cutting also promotes poor heath, bare patches and browning and is an open invitation for weeds and disease infiltrating your lawn.
Over-cutting puts your lawn under extreme stress and causes ongoing problems, which you must spend time and money fixing.
So, unfortunately, over-cutting the grass is more like a gaol sentence, requiring more of a commitment from you than you “saved” by mowing more lightly and more frequently.

So save yourself the pain! Avoid scalping or cutting grass too short. Always check your blades. Remember to adjust and raise the mower blade height to compensate for uneven or low areas on your lawn.

Mowing Frequency

This tip is pretty simple. If you are after thick and lush grass, you must mow regularly. That’s just working with nature and the reality of how grass responds to proper treatment.

All grasses have a recommended height for optimal performance. So, naturally, you can determine when your grass needs to be cut if the grass blades are longer than the recommended height for your lawn type. The lawn will need less frequent mowing in cooler months when the grass is relatively dormant and more regular mowing in the warmer months when it is actively growing. That’s just the reality of nature, too.

Regular mowing has the added benefit of reducing weeds by cutting them down before they can grow more seed heads or reproduce.

If it’s been raining and your lawn needs cutting, mowing is OK. Ensure that your mower blades are sharp so that no damage to the grass occurs. Be aware that with wet grass, you will not get as good a cut or do as neat a job as when you mow in dryer conditions. Damp grass clippings are also bulkier and messier, so be prepared to deal with a much bigger clean-up of you and your mower!

If you can, wait for drier conditions to mow, but not too dry. The best time is a couple of days after the rain.

Mowing Pattern

At first, “untrained” grass blades tend to grow in different directions, so don’t stick to mowing in the same direction every single time. It would be best if you broke up your cutting pattern. Mow from left to right, up to down, anti-clockwise and clockwise, depending on the lay of the land.
Breaking up your mowing pattern will also prevent the soil from being compacted in the same areas. Compacted soil causes ruts and uneven ground and will stop the grass from leaning and growing in one particular direction, which is a preferable growth pattern for both you and the grass.
Always ensure you overlap each pass by at least a couple of inches, no matter which direction you mow. This will guarantee that the mowing coverage is even and that no areas have missed strips.


People often use grass catchers because they want the lawn to look neat after mowing. But it would be best if you considered other factors.
If you have an unhealthy lawn, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn to decompose naturally can be a great source of organic matter and recycled nutrients and aid grass growth by improving the soil structure.

But if your lawn is already healthy, constantly mulching should be considered carefully. In humid conditions, mulch can get mouldy, encouraging disease and depriving the lawn of nitrogen. The classing sign of low nitrogen is the yellowing of the leaf blades. If this occurs, you might have to add a nitrogen fertiliser to get your grass looking green again.

So there you have it.

Consider using these basic techniques and tips; you can cut your grass and get results like a lawn-mowing professional!

And, of course, if you don’t like mowing, don’t have the time, or don’t know what might be wrong with your lawn or what to do, then the simplest solution is to let Fox Mowing look after your lawn for you. And while we’re in your garden, we can do a lot of other stuff to get your garden looking and feeling its best.


Growing a healthy lawn can be thirsty work. There’s no plant alive that doesn’t need water, and your lawn is no exception! Water is vital in any lawn care and maintenance program, but grass needs to be adequately watered. This is especially true when establishing a lawn or treating one who is looking a little stressed or tired. But the more established and healthy the grass, the less time you need to water it.

When to Water

Just because we must drink regularly doesn’t mean our lawns must too!
Your lawn only needs to be watered when needed, not when you feel like doing it.
If you’re unsure of when to water, then look for the telltale signs that your lawn needs a good drink:

  • Wilting
  • Dryness
  • Leaf Blades Browning


Obvious? Maybe. But you’d be surprised how often people let their lawns reach this stage.
However, you don’t need to let your grass get as dehydrated as this.
Just walk over your lawn.
Well, hydrated grass springs back after you walk on it.
Grass that needs watering stays limp and flat and doesn’t spring back.

Once you’ve noticed that the grass needs a drink, that doesn’t mean you must rush to the hose immediately. Some times of the day are better than others for water.
The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning before the day starts to heat up, and the water is lost to evaporation, wind and the hot sun. If the morning is inconvenient or you’re not a morning person, the late afternoon or early evening is your next best time.

The type of grass that you have also determines the best time of the day to water. If you live in a cool climate or are in a season where cool-season grasses dominate, it’s best to avoid watering them in the evening.
Late-in-the-day watering in a fantastic season can lead to the ground remaining wet for an extended time. This can encourage the growth of fungal diseases.

And if you’re applying fertiliser to your lawns, remember always to water afterwards to prevent the chance of chemically burning the grass blades. Grass likes its food watery.

How Much to Water and How Often

Depending on your soil type and climate, grass will require different amounts of watering. Generally, sandy soils require 20-30mm of water, while loams and clay soils require 40-70mm of water.

Ultimately, you want the water to seep deep into the top 300mm of soil so that it reaches the central root zone.

OK, so how do you measure your water?

Do a flow test!
Place empty containers evenly around the grass for sprinklers and pop-up irrigation systems, and turn the water on for 30 minutes. Measure the amount of water in each container and double the total to get the hourly rate. It is a good idea to average all the containers as some will contain more water than others, depending on where they are near the sprinkler. This measurement will help determine how much time is required to provide your lawn with the right amount of water.

So, just as an example, here’s how to do a flow test:

You have spaced five containers around your lawn and watered the lawn in your usual way for half an hour.
The container water is 20, 15, 30, 10 and 25 mm tall. So the average for the five containers for half an hour is 20mm, and for 1 hour, it would be 40mm.
So, if you’re dealing with sandy soil, you’d be watering at that rate for 45 minutes.
For loam or clay soil, you might want to water for about an hour to an hour-and-a-half.

If you don’t have time to do a flow test, here’s The Screwdriver Test.
Stick a long screwdriver into the ground. If the soil is adequately moist, you should be able to push the screwdriver in without too much effort and certainly without spraining your wrist and dislocating your shoulder.
If you can’t push the screwdriver in with relative ease, the soil is too compacted, and you need more water to loosen things up.

The real key to watering lawns is to water less often, but when you do, then make it a deep watering, thoroughly soaking the grass and the soil underneath.

Why deep and infrequent?

Grass is a living thing. It adapts to the conditions it finds itself in or the conditions you create.
Shallow, frequent watering tells the grass, “There’s plenty of rain here all the time. You don’t have to work too hard for your water.” So, the grass responds by creating a wide but shallow and not particularly robust root system.
Deep, infrequent watering tells the grass a different story. “The rain is unpredictable, but when it comes, it pours for a while and will soak the earth. The soil will hold the water like a reservoir sponge for a long while until the next rain comes.” So, the grass adapts by creating a profound, far-reaching and intense root system that can extract water from a larger soil volume. This makes the grass much better able to deal with the dry periods that most of our small continent is used to (unless you live in Tully, Queensland, where you’re unlikely ever to need to water your grass).

Having said all that, there’s no point in overwatering, either.
You can tell when you’re over-watering because, at some point, the soil will become saturated. Water will begin to pool and run off. At that point, you can stop and let the soil deal with the water you’ve given it. Then, wait a day, recheck the conditions, and provide the grass a repeat watering only if needed.

How to Water – Proper Techniques and Tools

How you water is as essential as when and how much you water.
The watering strategy you choose and use will depend on how much control you want over the process and the amount of time and money you want to invest.

If you have the time and inclination, you can always use the conventional method of getting out your hose and watering your grass for an hour or so (depending on the size of your lawn). Many people enjoy watering; it’s a peaceful, meditative way to spend time.

However, if you do not like to stand around and watch the grass grow, you can always invest in an irrigation system or use a water sprinkler.

Installed irrigation systems, such as a drip feed or pop-up, involve plastic pipes being laid under the turf. At the very least, this will require you to rip up any established lawn partially. You’ll then have to re-lay and re-establish the lawn once the irrigation is in place. Installed systems require considerable planning, so much so that we have dedicated a separate article about designing irrigation systems.

Drip systems are very water-efficient! They work underground, releasing water slowly into the soil. This means minimal water is lost to evaporation. However, as with all pre-installed irrigation systems, you won’t be able to aerate your lawn conventionally due to the chance of damaging the pipes. Drip systems also mean that from time to time, you will still need to apply water to the top of the grass when fertilising, establishing or correcting new turf.

If you have a smaller lawn, the best and cheapest option for long-term use is an above-ground sprinkler system with a timer attached to a garden hose. You move the above-ground sprinkler system to different parts of your lawn as needed. You can set these systems to deliver a specific amount of water quickly.

Water Quality

Sometimes, you might be doing everything right, but you find that your lawn:

  • It doesn’t absorb the water well
  • Has stunted growth
  • Has ongoing poor performance


The culprit might be high levels of acidity or salt in your water supply.
If this is the case, you can apply additives such as gypsum or lime to improve the structure and drainage of acidic soils. You can also replace your lawn with a salt-tolerant turf such as Paspalum or Sir Walter Buffalo. Salt-tolerant grasses can grow and withstand salty water and soil better, and replanting might be easier than attempting to “correct” the soil.

Knowing when and how much to water, along with proper ongoing lawn care and mowing maintenance, can help keep your lawn looking lush, thick and healthy all year round – increasing the beauty of your garden, your quality of life and the value of your property, all at the same time.

And, of course, if you don’t like watering, don’t have the time, or don’t know what might be wrong with your lawn or what to do, then the simplest solution is to let Fox Mowing look after your lawn for you. And while we’re in your garden, we can do a lot of other stuff to get your garden looking and feeling its best.




Grass isn’t just grass! There are thousands of varieties and subspecies of grasses, all created and developed to grow according to different climates, soil conditions, watering habits, maintenance levels and general wear and tear requirements.
Climate is your first consideration.

Grass Classification
In general, grasses can be classified as being under two main headings:

  • Cool Season Grasses
  • Warm Season Grasses


This labelling can easily lead to confusion and a wrong understanding of the growth habits of grass. You may think they can only survive and be grown in their respective seasons, such as “Cool Season” grasses in winter or “Warm Season” in summer. This isn’t the case. The term “season” in this usage has nothing to do with the time of year the grass thrives but the climate where the temperature is in the optimal range for growth throughout the year.
Thus, cool-season grasses grow best in cooler climates – generally with a lot of rainfall – and warm-season varieties in warmer weather – generally with less rainfall.

Cool Season Grasses
As Australia is such a hot and dry continent, most varieties of cool-season grasses are unsuitable or viable for establishing a lawn. Cool-season grasses grow and are generated from seed only and are not laid as ready-made turf. The seed sprouts offshoots that thicken and grow, forming a single plant with many shoots that, in turn, spread and join into neighbouring shoots. This thickening and spreading process is called “tillering” and is repeated millions of times to form a lush lawn.

Finding a lawn entirely established by seed is increasingly uncommon, as the failure rate is very high. Cool-season grasses need up to 70% more water than warm-season varieties, and they are more susceptible to weeds, disease and pest attacks. So, on the off chance and rare chance that you establish a purely seed-based lawn, it will be harder to keep healthy in the long term and will most likely not survive in the hotter and drier climates that dominate the parts of Australia where most people live. For the most part, going with a warm season grass will better suit your needs and purposes.

Excellent season varieties, however, can be used to over-sow your current lawn in winter as a temporary lawn cover. This is a viable option if you are after a brighter green lawn during the colder months. Warm-season grasses such as Couch or Buffalo tend to lose their colour in the winter, turning yellower or even grey. Please note, though, that such a strategy is temporary as the cool season grass that looks good in winter will probably die in the summer, by which time, hopefully, your usual lawn will begin to take up the slack again.

Warm Season Grasses
Warm season grasses are well suited to most climates throughout inhabited Australia, as they grow best in warmer, dryer weather – which is ultimately what we have in these regions year round! Because of their root structure, warm-season grasses can be laid as ready-made turf and, when correctly laid, establish well and seldom fail. They are a hardier, thicker range of grasses with a drought-tolerant nature, requiring minimal watering or rainfall to maintain, stay healthy and keep them looking great.

Warm-season grasses have a plant structure that comprises two types of runners. Those that grow laterally along the ground are called “stolons”, while underground runners are called “rhizomes”. Not all warm-season grasses have both varieties of runners. Buffalo Grass, for example, only has Stolons, while Couch & Kikuyu have stolons and rhizomes. Having two types of runners, above and belowground, enables these grasses to grow and spread quickly and self-repair over damaged coverage areas. This vigour can be a bit of a double-edged sword. The tendency of a grass to grow and spread with such vitality can lead them to become somewhat aggressive and ultimately invasive – growing over and under paving and spreading into garden beds.

Since, in most cases, you’ll be looking at warm-season turf varieties, your choices come down to the nitty-gritty of choosing the species best suited to your specific needs and situation. These will include evaluating the following factors around your property and location.

Your Climate and Microclimate
“Climate” refers to plant growth, a large geographical area with an enduring, consistent, cyclic pattern of sunlight, heat, and rainfall. The most widely used climate classification is the Köppen-Geiger system. Most of Australia is dominated by dry-arid and semi-arid climates. However, the south-east of the continent – Tasmania, Victoria, “coastal” New South Wales and south-east Queensland have temperate/mesothermal climates. In contrast, the top of the continent is a tropical wet savannah.
“Microclimate” refers to the specific conditions around a smaller area that might be somewhat different to the broader climatic region that surrounds it. Microclimates can be as small as the area of a suburb or even smaller. Your neighbour might have very different growing conditions for you and considerable microclimate differences even within your garden. The complexities of climate and making climate dictate why laying a lawn down is not as simple as laying down a carpet. There might not be a “one grass fits all” solution to your lawn requirements.
Nevertheless, the area in which you live plays a significant role in the type of grass that you choose for your garden. If your location is prone to hot weather and minimal rainfall throughout the year, then you would be best choosing a variety of drought-tolerant grass. Varieties such as Couch & Zaysia can handle heat and dry conditions well. In contrast, other varieties, such as Kikuyu, have a much poorer tolerance and should be considered for wetter climates. Having drought-tolerant grass will ensure your grass has a better chance of survival in more challenging conditions.
The closer the grass type is to the climate it’s trying to grow in, the less maintenance and upkeep it will need to keep it healthy.

Sun & Shade
The location where the turf will be laid and the proportion of sun and shade it is exposed to can play a big part in the performance of your lawn. If your garden gets full sun all day, you can choose almost any variety – Couch, Buffalo, and Kikuyu are all good in hot, dry conditions, although they require constant sunlight. If your lawn is shaded by trees, fences, hedges or any obstructions to light, then you’ll need to consider using shade-tolerant grass such as Sir Walter Buffalo, which flourishes just as well in full sun as in partial shade.

Everyone uses their lawn differently. If your grass is more visually ornamental and is not regularly walked or played on, then wear-and-tear and traffic resistance will not play a big part in your lawn choice. However, your lawn will get much more traffic if you constantly walk over a particular stretch of grass or have kids or pets. It would be best to plan so that “use” doesn’t become “abuse”. Choose a turf that can deal with the rough and tumble of everyday life so that you don’t have to returf later once your lawn has worn out through the increased activity.

Salt Tolerance
Your soil might have a higher salt content depending on where you live – especially in a coastal area. Not all grasses can tolerate salty soils, so you must ensure you have a turf that can deal with these conditions, or you will constantly add lime and other additives to the soil to compensate. This will take up your time and money, and there is no guarantee that your lawn will survive and grow even with all your hard effort. Once again, suitable planting is the key.

Grass Appearance
It’s common to desire the perfect, emerald green lawn all year around -no matter the season. Unfortunately, some grasses can go dormant during winter and lose some greenery, taking on a brown-red tinge. This is often the case with Couch grasses. Other grasses are better at holding their own during winter and can retain most of their colour and health.

Grass Feel
A green lawn is good, but a lawn that feels good is even better! Grasses such as Sir Walter Buffalo, Nara Zoysia and Fescue are all soft-feeling grasses. If your lawn will have a lot of bare skin rolling around, then having a soft lawn would be the preferred option for your kids and might cut down on potential rashes, too.

Maintenance & Growth
Different grass types grow at differing speeds. Some grow and spread quickly, while others take their time establishing and germinating even if they’re in their optimal conditions. The speed at which your grass grows will determine how often you have to mow, especially in the warmer months.

Warm-season grasses such as Couch and Zoysia can be mown to a lower height of around 12mm, while varieties of Buffalo and Kikuyu will require higher lawn mowing heights of 20 to 25mm.

Couch or Kikuyu grasses have above-ground runners – stolons & rhizomes – that can cause a big problem as they can be overly invasive and spread throughout your property and into your garden beds. If this is a problem, you can choose varieties such as Zoysia and Buffalo. They grow slower, making them less invasive because you have more time to deal with them.

Tillering also plays its part in warm-season turfs as it reduces the number of runners while promoting the growth of leaves, thus helping the lawn to thicken and green up. You can encourage tillering by mowing more regularly. Regularly mowing the grass plant puts more energy into growing new grass shoots than establishing new runners. This means the lawn will be less aggressive and spread into places it shouldn’t.
Result – less maintenance.

Generally, the more suited your lawn is to your environment and soil conditions, the better it will perform and the less time you will have to maintain it!

To compare common grasses and their characteristics, click here.

Now, you can spend some time examining your garden, doing the necessary further research, sourcing a supplier of suitable grass or grasses, and then finally arranging for the installation of the appropriate grass for the right reason.
Or, if you don’t have the time or the expertise to make the best choices, then the simplest solution is to let Fox Mowing look into the correct type of lawn for you. And while we’re there in your garden, improving your lawn, we can do a lot of other stuff to get your garden looking and feeling its best.


You might think that grass comes only in the primary varieties of Buffalo, Kikuyu and Couch. However, there are thousands of varieties and subspecies of turf, all of which have particular traits, strengths, weaknesses and growing requirements.

We’ve taken the liberty of picking two favourite varieties that may not be widely known or recognised as viable choices for your average gardening and backyard needs, but they’re winners nonetheless. These are both battlers with strong survival instincts and can cope with the harsh Aussie conditions prevalent across much of our country.

Nara Native Zoysia Macrantha

It may come as a surprise for you to realise that Australia doesn’t have many purely native turf grasses. You can count our Australian native grass choices on two fingers – Nara Native & Dryarna. Although Dryarna is a native grass, it is not used as a lawn turf but purely for agricultural purposes. Its primary use is in drainage channels, which must be next to or in shallow water or mud most of the time to survive. Nevertheless, being a native Australian, it is also very drought tolerant. Although not an ideal turf grass for conventional lawns, Dryarna’s deep and complex root system makes it an excellent choice for erosion control near bodies of water.

This only leaves Nara Native Zoysia Macrantha as the only actual blue Aussie grass suitable for everyday use as a general-purpose lawn. You’ll find Nara throughout Australian backyards, parks and sporting fields.

Nara is a new variety of the Zoysia turf family that was bred in Australia for Australian conditions. It is a beautiful, fine textured grass often chosen for its looks alone, although it has many other excellent qualities that make it a standout lawn turf.

Nara Native can be grown throughout all areas of Australia, but in a warm season, grass is best suited to hotter climates.

Growth & Maintenance

Nara is a very low-maintenance lawn that is easy to mow and look after.

If you sometimes forget to water, fertilise or mow your lawns regularly, Nara may be a good turf to consider, as it can survive neglect and lack of care. Nara can be left unmowed for long periods and will not suffer any lasting effects. It will survive well with fewer mows than other varieties of lawn turf, needing 20% less mowing than Buffalo, 30% less than Couch & 45% less than Kikuyu.

It will not thatch up, grow ugly, or be messy from being left alone. It will also not get out of control as it is a low-aggressive and invasive turf so that it won’t spread like mad across your paths and into your garden beds.

Nara can be mowed exactly as you would with other turf varieties. Cut on the shorter side will have less chance of scalping compared to varieties like Couch. But the general rule still applies in hotter weather – the longer the grass, the better it will survive in drought conditions.

Nara only seeds once a year in the springtime, so you will reduce your mowing by only having to cut off the new seed heads once a year, unlike other grasses that can seed every season.

The grass requires only one application of fertiliser a year. However, if it is under constant and heavy foot traffic, we recommend you up the dosage to two to three light feeds a year – to play it safe.

Tolerance & Conditions

Nara is a hardy and well-conditioned turf suited to cope with the harshness of the Australian environment.

Nara’s root system comprises rhizomes that develop a robust root system that spreads underground, sending nutrients and new shoots upward, competing well with weeds to help fill in any bare patches on the ground above. This root system makes Nara very drought-tolerant. It survives dry and humid climates with prolonged dry spells and retains most of its colour in summer and winter.

Nara Native is a sun lover but can also deal with a partial shade of 50-55%, much more shade than Couch & Kikuyu, which are varieties that only survive in very minimal shaded areas. This native can also withstand a lot of general wear and tear, so it’s suitable for areas with high foot traffic even though its soft-textured leaves are comfortable enough for bare feet.

If you have salty soils or live in coastal areas, this grass will be the perfect fit as it is very salt tolerant, although, where possible, it is still best to water with fresh water.

Nara is great at combatting weeds in your lawn and rarely gets diseases. It copes well with bugs and insects and can withstand black beetles, army & web worms better than other common grass varieties. In colder temperatures, it can occasionally develop rust on the leaves, but it hides this well among the thickness of the lawn.

In most cases, Nara outperforms Couch & Kikuyu and is on par with and sometimes better than most common Buffalo grasses. Considering this, we highly rate Nara Native as a hardy and tolerant Australian battler.

If you want to support and grow a native garden, you can’t go past this variety.

Sir Walter Buffalo

Sir Walter Buffalo is the second grass that we recommend and that you might not be aware of. This, of course, is a strain of the common Buffalo but with added benefits and tweaks to its structure to help it better adapt and survive in various environments. Sir Walter was first released in 1997 and has quickly become the number one variety of Buffalo turf known for its soft leaf and hardwearing nature.

Like Sir Walter, many similar leaf Buffalos are produced by companies and turf farms such as Kings Pride, Matilda, Palmetto, ST 26 & 28 and Sapphire. Ned Kelly is one of the newer soft-leaf turfs available now.

Growth & Maintenance

Sir Walter, too, is a warm-season grass that grows steadily, so it will have to be mown regularly, mainly to keep it neat and healthy. As a rule, Buffalo grasses need to be held at 30mm to 60mm, with Sir Walter, in particular, requiring a length at the higher end of this scale.

Although not highly invasive, if not watched, mowed and edged regularly, its aggressive runners can spread and start to invade your garden beds and paths.

Sir Walter has been specifically cultivated to self-repair. If any damage arises from wear or tear, dryness or heat, Sir Walter can repair, re-establish, and spread to cover open patches caused by poor growth. This will save you money and time as it will work at fixing itself so that you don’t have to worry about taking remedial action.

For complete instructions on how to mow and to find out how best to care for your lawn, go here.

Tolerance & Conditions

Sir Walter is best known for its toughness and its resilience to shade. Unlike other varieties of Buffalo and especially Couch & Kikuyu, Sir Walter is excellent in shaded areas and can cope well in areas with reduced sunlight and partial shade. Although Sir Walter can adapt and survive in the shade, no developed lawn can remain healthy in full and constant shade. No matter how much care, water and fertiliser are applied, grass needs light! If you’re dealing with a lot of shade, investing in paving or AstroTurf will be a better choice for your circumstances.

Sir Walter has been specifically grown to be drought tolerant. It can survive in hot and dry conditions as its root system grows far into the soil, firmly establishing itself and drawing nutrients and moisture from the deep layers of the soil – the subsoil. Besides surviving heat and dryness, Sir Walter is great at surviving frost and cold weather and can maintain its green colour well through winter. Suppose your lawn is healthy and fertilised regularly throughout the year, particularly in autumn. In that case, your lawn should be able to retain its colour better and will be able to defend itself from prolonged cold periods successfully.

Like Nara Native, Sir Walter is also salt tolerant, allowing it to grow in most environments and soil conditions around Australia. It also wears well on high-traffic lawns and has good pest and disease tolerance.

Sir Walter is an all-round great quality turf that retains acceptable colour all year with good drought, shade and wear and tear tolerance.

We think this grass is a winner!

Choosing the suitable grass, or even grasses, for your particular situation requires considerable research. It’s great to be as knowledgeable as possible about your options, but if you don’t have the time or the expertise to work out which grass is best and then learn how to look after it, the best solution is to let Fox Mowing choose and to look after your lawn for you. And while we’re in your garden, we can do a lot of other stuff to get your garden looking and feeling its best.


Here’s a General guide to the characteristics of some of the most common grasses throughout Australia.

Kentucky Blue Perennial Rye Rtf Tall


Eureka Kikuyu Nullarbor Couch Sir Walter Buffalo Nara Native Zoysia Tropical Carpet Grass
Climate Type: Cool Cool Cool Warm Warm Warm Warm Warm Tropical
Texture: Fine & Soft Medium Coarse Soft Medium Course Fine Leaf Soft, Wide Leaf Soft, Fine Wide Leaves
Germination time Slow Fast Slow Fast Fast Fast Medium Medium
Shade tolerance Fair Fair Fair Very Poor Very Poor Excellent Good Good
Drought Tolerance: Fair Good Very Poor Fair Excellent Good Excellent Poor
Traffic resistance: Good Excellent Poor Good Excellent Good Good Poor
Winter Colour: Good Good Excellent Good Poor Good Good Good
Invasiveness: Invasive Invasive Non Invasive Very Invasive Very Invasive Slightly Invasive Slightly Invasive Slightly Invasive
Salt Tolerance: Good Fair Poor Poor Poor Excellent Good Fair
Pest & Disease Tolerance: Good Good Fair Poor Fair Good Good Good
Comments: Dormant during drought & winter Poor tolerance to temperature extremes & cold winters. Coastal regions. High maintenance requires plenty of water Quick Growing Suitable for cool & frost-prone climates. Low Maintenance Low maintenance Suited to North QLD


You can spend some time examining your garden, doing the necessary further research, sourcing a supplier of suitable grass or grasses, and then finally arranging for the installation of the appropriate grass for the right reason.

Or, if you don’t have the time or the expertise to make the best choices, then the simplest solution is to let Fox Mowing look into the correct type of lawn for you. And while we’re there in your garden, improving your lawn, we can do a lot of other stuff, too.





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