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 Practical Turf Tips - Laying, Maintaining, Choosing Turf 
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Post Practical Turf Tips - Laying, Maintaining, Choosing Turf
Practical Turf Tips - Laying, maintaining, and choosing the right turf for your situation

Originally posted here ... f-tips.php

Most contractors reading this know how to lay turf, maintain it, and choose it, but there are some aspects that have changed over the last few years, and this is what I would like to focus on. More weed pressure, more new turf varieties that have different benefits, and different maintenance regimes, including new pre-emergents. There is even a way to make lawns greener in winter.

Laying Turf:

Soil preparation is key. Create a loose, well-structured soil that will provide nutrients to the turf. No rocket science there. But with the popularity rising in easier to maintain and tougher turf types like Zoysia, or the change from cool climate turf in Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide to warm season turf like Buffalo, laying practices have needed to change. In these cooler climates, laying these types of turf in winter is simply not a good idea. I have seen too many lawns fail. Where possible don’t lay Buffalo or Zoysia between May and August in the south.

Queenslanders benefit from the warmer winter climates, and can generally lay Buffalo and Zoysia any time. Sydney can lay Buffalo in winter, but in the western suburbs, do not lay Zoysia at this time. Kikuyu still seems to strike in winter in cooler regions, but it will not work in shade, and needs a lot more maintenance. Also did you know research from Florida University proved that newly laid turf does not benefit from fertiliser till one month after laying? If you want to use a pre-emergent when laying new turf, Ronstar is still the best. Avoid using root pruning types like Barricade on new turf.


You guys know how to maintain a lawn, but some problems are becoming out of control. The sale of so much seeded Kikuyu in most states other than Queensland, is seeing most Buffalo lawns being badly infested within 5 to 8 years. Walk around some suburbs in Sydney, and every Buffalo lawn is being invaded by Kikuyu. Choosing a Zoysia lawn is one way to fix this problem as there are some chemicals that kill Kikuyu out of Zoysia. But for all those facing this major problem, here are some solutions. I used this program last year, and with lots of effort, I did beat the Kikuyu in my Buffalo lawns.

Autumn and winter is one of the best times to kill Kikuyu in your Buffalo, Couch, or Zoysia turf. Autumn is also a good time to try to spot spray Couch in Buffalo, but is more difficult than taking out Kikuyu. Kikuyu is still highly active in many parts of Australia, whilst the other grass types slow or almost stop growing. Kikuyu can quickly overtake a lawn if not kept in check. If you have even a trace of Kikuyu, you will need to do one of the steps below for the next couple of seasons, till the Kikuyu is eradicated. If the Kikuyu gets too thick in Buffalo, the only way to get rid of it is kill the whole lawn and start again, so it is worth taking the following advice.

In Couch and Zoysia
 Kikuyu can be mass sprayed out of Zoysia or Couch, with specialist chemicals, but this is not possible with Buffalo turf. The best chemical to use is DSMA to take out Kikuyu in Couch and Zoysia. It will often take a few applications, over a few months. It’s not a one spray option. A new herbicide called Tribute has also been launched, and at a recent seminar I heard that this used in combination with DSMA has even better results taking out Kikuyu. They sprayed with DSMA first, then followed up later with two applications a few weeks apart of Tribute. I am not sure when the use for this will be on the label, but it is worth waiting for, because the correct application and combination increased the kill of Kikuyu to 98%.

In Buffalo: 

In Buffalo, the only answer is spot killing Kikuyu with Round Up. That means you can only get the Round Up on the plant you want to kill, and must not get any on the lawn you want to keep. There are three ways to do this (Note; this can also be done for Couch and Zoysia turf);

Spray the spot where the Kikuyu is, knowing the patch that gets the Round Up on it will die. This