If you asked the question ‘Which is the best type of turf to get for my new lawn?’ at a BBQ – chances are, most people in the know would respond ‘Definitely Sir Walter!’.
But perhaps you’ve heard that there are other newer varieties on the market that are also worth a look.
Why is Sir Walter DNA Certified so well regarded and recommended Australia wide, and is it really the best variety for you?
The benefits of Sir Walter
Bred right here in Australia, Sir Walter DNA Certified soft-leaved buffalo grass is well known to be perfect for coastal areas like outer Sydney and Wollongong, but also for doing equally well inland in areas such as Camden and the Southern Highlands.
The reason that Sir Walter has proven time and time again that it can go anywhere and grow anywhere, is because it has been proven to withstand a broad variety of Australian climate elements – ranging from full sun, extreme heat and even drought, right through to full shade and frosty conditions.
Sir Walter DNA Certified also boasts a significantly tight growth habit, which enables it to hold out most weeds, and also to repair itself quickly if damaged, leaving fewer bare patches.
Sir Walter turf roots grow deep into the subsoil gathering moisture, which means it can also survive drought conditions better than most. It does this while reducing the heat generated from the sun by up to 10 degrees Celsius around your home.
In addition to these superior qualities, it features a recognisable deep green, broadleaf which gives a distinctive, thick luxurious and verdant look that other varieties don’t.
But, is it still the best variety!?
The turf variety that is best for you will depend on your individual needs, and the truth is – there are now a few other varieties on the market that are giving Sir Walter DNA Certified a serious run for its money.
There is one variety in particular, which is fast becoming known as ‘a finer choice’.
Introducing Sir Grange
Hand selected from over 10,000 different cultivars, Sir Grange underwent a strict research and development process by the world’s most successful turf breeders in the US.
Sir Grange was originally developed for the golf industry but it was soon discovered that due to its characteristics, it would make a fantastic home lawn.
Sir Grange is characterised by its beautiful dark green leaf and its fine bladed turf. It looks and feels finer than Sir Walter.
However, the suitability of this variety for your backyard extends far beyond its good looks!
Reasons Sir Grange is quickly becoming recognised as ‘a finer choice’
High shade and drought tolerance
Sir Grange has both excellent shade and drought tolerance. It is perfectly suitable for full sun areas, but also only requires four hours of direct sunlight to stay healthy.
Extremely low maintenance
Sir Grange has very low nutrient and water requirements. Once established, it will use up to 50 per cent less water and nitrogen than other common turf varieties to stay green.
Sir Grange is also a significantly slower growing variety than others. This means that it requires up to 50 per cent less mowing than other common turf varieties, whilst it can also withstand a wide range of mowing height options.
Great weed and insect resistance
Sir Grange has a very dense root structure, making it extremely difficult for weeds and insects to penetrate and cause problems that tend to be common amongst other turf varieties.
Sir Grange has an extremely high tolerance to wear, is self-repairing and even survives in freezing temperatures.
Suitable for seaside areas
If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, Sir Grange has excellent salt tolerance. It can handle salt up to 17,000ppm (parts per million) – to be exact!
You pay a premium for Sir Grange because it takes longer to grow than the other varieties, so it won’t suit all budgets.
But with a beautiful deep green colour, fine blade and a soft feel, premium turf variety Sir Grange is a perfect choice for Australian families looking for a luxurious, low-maintenance lawn.
If you need a grass that grows vigorously and stands up to a wide range of climate conditions, then Eureka Kikuyu could be the one for you.
Widely known as an ‘economical all-rounder’, Eureka Kikuyu’s vigorous growth habit allows it to repair very quickly if damaged, and also to establish a strong, deep root base to help it stand up to the hottest summer days.
Eureka Kikuyu enjoys a long growing season, and with regular mowing will hold a good tight growth mat.
Holding colour well into winter it will brown off when frost affected but bounces back with full vigour in spring.
Generally speaking, if your budget is tight and your yard gets plenty of sun it’s hard to go past Eureka Kikuyu.
New front-runner TifTuf Bermuda is recognised for its fine, soft and dense look and feel. This turf is one you’ll be familiar with if you frequent a professional sports field.
TifTuf was developed in the US and selectively bred from 30,000 different Bermuda varieties over 25 years. 100 per cent genetically pure TifTuf Bermuda grass became the benchmark for drought tolerance. No other turf is quite as good under drought conditions and requires 38 per cent less water than other varieties.
TifTuf turf also has superior qualities in shade tolerance, wear tolerance and maintaining its winter colour.
TifTuf Bermuda’s density enables it to handle high wear situations such as an intense game of backyard soccer or cricket, whilst its beautiful medium-fine blade provides shade tolerance and makes it soft to walk on.
For those looking to save on water while still having a tough and attractive lawn, it’s hard to look past, TifTuf. Its colour and texture are just beautiful.
So – is Sir Walter Buffalo still the best turf variety? If it is DNA certified as a pure strain, it’s still an amazing grass variety, even after all these years.
But with the amazing all-rounder Sir Walter, Sir Grange and TifTuf, the choice mainly comes down to budget and your personal preferences for the look and feel. Though, Eureka Kikuyu can still be a great choice when you need more lawn for less, so long as it’s in a reasonably sunny spot.
If you’re still unsure, check out these turf characteristics charts that’ll help you clarify which lawn variety is right for you.