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Grass in Focus: Why Couch Grass Should be Your Lawn Option

Last Updated: May 23, 2024

The right type of lawn grass is crucial to achieving a picture-perfect landscape. While there are various good options, couch grass is undoubtedly the most popular. Its high drought tolerance and the fact that it can grow anywhere in Australia are some of its best features. But that’s not all it has to offer. Let’s look at why this turf should be your first choice for your lawn.

What is Couch Grass?

Couch grass is a grass variety originating from Africa that grows well in warm climates and can adapt well to the Land Down Under’s hot summer seasons. This type has delicate leaves and a gorgeous deep green colour, adding to its appeal and making it perfect for commercial and residential properties.

What Makes It so Popular?

The popularity of couch grass in Australia is due to its ability to thrive in sunny areas. And since it grows well horizontally, it can tolerate shallow mowing heights, giving it a manicured aesthetic. Apart from being sun tolerant and resilient, it’s excellent for large fields with high traffic, such as sports fields,  playgrounds, and large lawns. Add to that its deep green colour, and you get a great combination of beauty and hardiness. Here are some other reasons why it’s popular.

Drought-tolerant: Couch grass is remarkably resilient to water scarcity, making it ideal for even the hottest Australian summers. This drought tolerance ensures it remains healthy with minimal water.

Sun-loving: It excels in sunny conditions and thrives in temperatures up to 40°C. However, it does require ample sunlight and may struggle in shaded areas.

Durability: Ideal for sports fields and playgrounds due to its ability to withstand high traffic. It adapts to various soil types, though it flourishes best in soils with a pH between 6 and 7.5.

Couch grass combines functionality and aesthetic appeal, making it a top choice for diverse lawn needs across Australia.

 

expanse of couch grass in lawn

Most Common Couch Types

Couch grass comes in different kinds with varying characteristics. Below are three popular types to help you choose the most suitable turf for your lawn.

Nullarbor Couch Grass

It is a well-established couch type with over 20 years of research backing its prevalence in many Australian properties. It’s popular for its stunning deep green colour and fine-leaf texture. Ideal for sunny areas, it requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily to maintain its vibrant hue. Regular trimming and biannual fertilisation are key to preserving its lush, manicured appearance. However, it’s less suited for shaded gardens where it may struggle to thrive.

Wintergreen Couch Grass

This couch type is the most low-maintenance type, requiring much less care than the other types. However, getting enough sunlight is just as crucial, so ensure it grows in an ideal shade-free spot. If grown well, you will see that it has a beautiful, mid-green colour and a softer texture.

Like the other varieties, it’s a good option for lawns with a lot of traffic. But the most important thing to consider before growing this grass type is the soil. Ensure the ground is well prepared before laying the grass to combat its nutrition deficiencies and water loss

Your Wintergreen couch grass will grow splendidly if the groundwork is done well. And since it is strong, it can repair itself quickly from most types of damage.

Santa Ana Couch Grass

Santa Ana Couch Grass is known for its fine texture and bright green hue, making it a popular choice for active outdoor spaces. It’s highly resilient, recovering quickly from wear and tear, perfect for yards with children and pets. This variety thrives in sunlight, enduring the intense heat of Australian summers, but it’s less suitable for shaded areas. Regular mowing to maintain a blade length of at least 20mm is key to preserving its pristine appearance. Weekly mowing and removal of clippings will keep your Santa Ana lawn looking vibrant and well-manicured.

closeup of hand brushing grass

Couch Lawn Care Tips

Even though it is a hardy grass that can survive harsh heat, proper couch grass maintenance is still essential. Keep it thriving and vibrant no matter the season, and follow couch lawn maintenance tips below. 

Proper Sunlight

This grass variety has fine leaf blades, which means that it is not efficient at absorbing sunlight. Even a tiny shade harms its health since it can quickly weaken. So, make sure to install this turf in areas that get plenty of sunlight.

If your property is filled with big beautiful trees and plants that contribute shade, ensure that you prune them regularly.

Weed Control

Keep your garden safe by only using chemicals suitable for your turf type. Couch turf has rapid coverage and dense undergrowth, so weed invasion shouldn’t be too much of a problem. However, you should still inspect your lawn weekly for weed growth and apply the appropriate herbicide.

While most herbicides will keep your couch grass unharmed, there are specific types that can kill them. You can use glyphosate if you want to kill invading couch turf. Just use a paintbrush and apply the herbicide by brushing it on the leaves of the invading grass. 

Fertilising

Couch turf grows best when given the proper nourishment. Keep your lawn magazine-worthy by fertilising it regularly throughout the year. In summer, spread about 10kg of fertiliser per 100m of grass every month and a half. In winter, apply the fertiliser once. You can use chemical and organic fertilisers but don’t use them simultaneously. 

Irrigation

Although couch turf is drought-tolerant, maintaining a strict watering schedule is still important. Your watering schedule depends on the season and the frequency of rain. In summer, water the grass at least two to three times a week.

If it’s rainier, typically during autumn and spring, your lawn doesn’t need watering much, and you can do it once every seven days. Watering couch grass in winter is only required twice per month. 

Remember that excess irrigation can hinder rather than help your grass. So keep to your watering schedule and do not overwater during the colder months. It would be best to water early in the morning for improved plant health and efficiency.

closeup of lawn mower cutting grass

Mowing

You can keep your grass as low as 4mm or let it grow to 36mm, depending on how you use your lawn. But if you haven’t cut your couch lawn in a long time, be careful when you mow so that you don’t take too many leaves at once.

Mowing frequency also depends on the couch type on your property. Wintergreen and Greenless Park varieties need a trim every 10-14 days with an ideal height of around 10-15mm. For the Santa Ana variety, mow your lawn every 7-14 days and keep the height approximately 20mm. 

In winter, you can cut down your mowing schedule in half or do it once every three to five weeks. 

Keeping Couch Grass Green in Winter

Taking care of couch grass in winter is easy since you can reduce watering and mowing. But if you want to ensure it retains its beautiful green colour even during the colder months of the year, the key is in the fertiliser.

Use a slow-release fertiliser in May to keep your couch turf green for as long as possible in winter. Cutting down on mowing also helps the turf stay vibrant green, as letting the grass grow promotes healthier leaves, especially since there is less sunlight during the day.

gardener installing turf

Choose Professionals for Your Couch Lawn Installation

Couch grass ticks all the boxes when it comes to maintenance, beauty, and resilience. But don’t forget that the installation process is also essential. Hire the services of Green Oasis Lawn and Reticulation for quality turf installation in Perth. Ensure everything in your lawn is considered, from where it is located to the type of soil it has.

We have been providing premium lawn installation services for over a decade, and we understand every aspect of the process. We work within your budget and your desired style to create a relaxing environment on your property that you can enjoy for years. If you want to know more about what’s included in our installation services, call us today.

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