Lawns are a much-loved feature of backyards all around Australia. They're a place to play, relax and entertain and enjoy a friendly game of backyard cricket. Unfortunately, during periods of dry weather, they're also commonly the part of the garden that suffers the most from the absence of rain. With much of the country now in the midst of a serious drought, lawns all over the country are looking dry, dusty and brown.
For this reason, if you're about to lay fresh turf in your backyard, you need to make some smart choices before you begin. Here are the three most important things to consider when planning a new lawn for your home.
1. Add good quality topsoil
All lawns need nutrients good soil to thrive. In many regions, the dry conditions or the natural state of the soil may mean that your future lawn bed may be seriously lacking the elements it needs to create a healthy and nurturing foundation for our turf to be laid on.
The remedy for this situation is to add a generous layer of top dress soil to the ground before the turf is laid. The topsoil should contain a mix of dirt, sand and an organic fertiliser, such as chicken manure. It will not only give your turf a great base to get it started, the slow breakdown of the fertiliser and the consistency of the soil will help to provide lasting nutrients and help to maintain moisture during dry spells.
2. Choose the right turf
Choosing the right turf variety can mean the difference between a lawn that survives a drought period and one that is unable to recover. Fortunately, there are numerous varieties of turf that have been designed to be highly drought resistant and able to thrive in even the harshest Australian conditions.
Varieties such as Buffalo, Kikuyu and Couch are all popular turf choices and they're readily available in most parts of the country. If you live in a region that also endures very cold winters, make sure that you choose a variety that can also withstand frosts and extended periods with very little direct sunlight.
3. Install a grey water converter
In times with very little rain, watering the lawn, and the rest of your garden, often becomes next to impossible. If water restrictions are in place, it's illegal to water the lawn, and even if you have a rainwater collection tank, it may well run dry after weeks or months of no rain.
A grey-water converter lets you reuse the water from your shower, washing machine and bathroom sink. A plumber can install this for you inexpensively and it will allow you to water your lawn as required. It's important to choose detergents and soaps that are designed to be safe for lawns and plants.