Landscape & Garden Design
Sep 19, 2009 7:14 am
I have been looking at getting turf laid for front and back yard (approx 100 sqm all up) we have water tanks (6000L)
i am a keen vegie and fruit gardener and hate to spend the precious water on turf (would rather use it on my edible garden)
Empire Zoysia sounds appealing but most suppliers are discouraging me from getting it. Melbourne does get frosty during June-July and extremely hot and dry during peak summer in Jan-feb. The suppliers mentioned that Zoysia prefers the hot humid Qeensland climate and the moderate NSW climate. trying something from the tropics may be a constant struggle. They are suggesting buffalo varieties. Is there a buffalo variety that is part shade tolerant, soft to touch, not too vigorous (I'd rather spend time on my edible garden than lawn mowing 100 sqm every 3 wks) Matilda? King's pride?
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne2
Sep 19, 2009 5:51 pm
The rental house we live in at the moment (South East Melbourne) has kikuyu and it seems to be withstanding the winter and hot summer days.
It is a problem growing into the garden beds but then this is probably the only house in the street with nice green gras, so that's the good and the bad.
I will put it in my new garden because then at least I know I WILL HAVE grass!! I will just have to make a plan with the garden beds!
The Grinch: Blast this Christmas music. It's joyful and triumphant
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne3
Sep 21, 2009 12:39 pm
I have kikuyu in my lawn - front and back. i would say i am quite happy with the way its tolerated winters overall! the front area gets lots of sunshine so is reallllyyyy green n lush. the area at the back of house has some brown patches, esp i did interesting thing of even putting in alfresco area - which it has survived with some brown patches. It seems very hardy and thick.
good you have a tank as it will need good amt of water for the first few weeks (as i was told by my installer) , after that once in a while.
Building in Western suburb,
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne4
Sep 21, 2009 9:36 pm
Thank you for your feedback. I recently visited a family who have kikiyu and loved the texture. our garden beds are a lower than the turf so invasion by runners would be rapid. We are inclining towards shade tolerant buffalo varieties as large area gets shaded by the house.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne5
Sep 21, 2009 9:48 pm
We had Sir Walter in our backyard in Melbourne. It's a soft buffalo and is supposed to be shade-tolerant. We had no problems with it in the 2 years we lived there, even during the water-restrictions etc.
I'm no expert, that is for sure, but that is the turf which was recommended to us by our landscapers, which is why we went with it.
I finally have my own reno thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28335
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue!
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne6
Sep 23, 2009 1:14 pm
I too would love to try empire but as i have discovered there just isn't any info anywhere on how it performs in Melbourne. I have been following all of the turf threads with interest. If FU or somebody else could get some first hand info posted in this thread from people who have laid empire and lived with it in Melbourne that would be great.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne8
Sep 28, 2009 12:35 pm
Palmetto for me, just gone thru the first year with great results. I think there are a couple of ppl who have planted Empire, have a search and see what you can find.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne9
Sep 28, 2009 9:35 pm
vp and me, you will see from most of my posts on Zoysia that the reason why Vicco turf farms say it is crap is because it is crap for them, they can't make any money from it. My supplier in Wang is in a far colder area than Melbourne and with proper soil prep Zoysia will handle the cold. Their comments about it's suitability being for tropical areas is mis informaed and it also means that someone forgot to tell us West Aussies who are growing it in much colder places than even Perth in winter, ie, the SW corner and South Coast. Maybe the west aussies are just years ahead of the rest in turf management
As for alternatives, make the seeded lawns of ryes, fescues etc a non option. They should be banned in Australia (Munns if you must) IMO and that of many others
The second last option is any sort of couch. This stuff is cheap to buy and very expensive from that moment on. Like buying an old rusty Datsun 120Y. Don't think it's going to be good because it is cheap! The turf farms clean up from growing and selling this stuff.
The only real alternative is the Buffalos, which in winter are very hard to "really" keep green, although claims made say otherwise. palmetto, Sir Walter are the two top guns. Maily because they have the most money poured into them in advertising
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne10
Sep 30, 2009 10:50 am
I spoke to Fu's friend in Wangaratta (google empire Zoysia in Wang)
Very informative and he convinced me it'll do just the same or even better than buffalos minus the watering (once a week or if it rains is enough unlike other turfs that need intermittent watering) He's selling it for $9.50 per sqm incl delivery till Derrimutt. so all those in western subs can really benefit if you can take your ute and get it home.
I do agree why the major suppliers are pushing buffalo due to ease of availability and higher cost. Also unlike the buffalo turf, they can only deliver on wed,thurs, fri, sat. due to interstate sourcing
we have decided to go ahead with Empire and sourcing from a sprinkler place in Eastern subs. they also sell it for the same price but delivery is additional.
Fu's friend also mentioned testing soil ph prior as 6.5 is the preferred ph and one needs to add lime/dolomite to adjust.
Big Thank you to Fu for educating us with this great variety of sustainable turf for the future!
shall keep y'all posted after the turf's laid!
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne12
Sep 30, 2009 3:45 pm
Great news, sorry I didn't get the bit about delivery....is it $9.50 + delivery costs or $9.50 including delivery costs? I am in the western suburbs.
Got a contact no?
My karma ran over your dogma
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne13
Sep 30, 2009 10:54 pm
I'll pm you the number
He shares a passion for the turf industry and the impacts that poor turf advice and practices and turf selections are having on the water resources of our cities and the nutrient leaching problems they create via indiscriminate use of lawn fertilisers.
He is an excellent representative of the new school in turf although we do differ in some perspectives
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne14
Oct 03, 2009 9:44 pm
for Melb Eastern subs- 0ne st0p spr!nklers supply empire Zoysia for about $9.50 per sqm addl delivery $77
for Westerb subs - Fu's friend from Wang- simmo can provide it for $9.50 per sqm till derrimut no addl delivery charge- you need to collect it yourself from derrimut
bk and hawgl i hope your questions are answered.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne16
Oct 07, 2009 6:35 pm
Just remeber that with Zoysia you can't treat it like carpet for the garden, (which no one should do with any turf.)
Find where near you sells zeolite and spongolite. I know many river safe products with Grahame "I won't get dirty in the garden" Ross's face on the front of the bags, they use zeolite or spongolite (can't remember) as a carrier for their wetting agents Not as good as getting it on it's own but if you can't find it, it's an option
Lots of organic soils dug in to about 30cm at least is the go. In heavy soils use a bit of sand too.
Do this and it all works
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne17
Oct 07, 2009 11:11 pm
Hey Fu, while your adding to the thread, i am renovating an old lawn and the soil isn't that bad really. Its classified as grey loam over yellow clay (no 4 on the link). It was once improved as there is probably a good shovel depth of soil before hitting claycrete. The cool season grasses i have there now grow fine and once the top soil is wet it stays wet for a long time.
http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/nreninf.n ... ad4fa?open
So rotary hoeing down to 30 cm into the concrete like clay sounds like a tough job. Plus i have some excellent mature trees which i have nursed to health through the drought (which are mulched) but i don't feel happy ripping up the soil around the drip line that depth. The soil definately needs some organic material tilled through it and the rest of your turf laying guide. So because i am not starting out with complete crap soil is it nessary to go nuts with the organic soils or can i just mix through some compost/soils equivalent to maintaining an existing garden bed? Plus how far do i dig down, to the clay base or further into it?
I plan to lay about 40m2 and let the zoysia run up and fill to the edging of the mulch rings of the the trees eventually.
Thanks in advance.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne18
Oct 08, 2009 6:16 pm
I'd be using some organic material at least. Your soils sound much better than the garbage I have to put up with here Now try to find a source of zeolite or spongolite. You might find it in a stockfeed place/ ag supplier.
Some of the olsens green bio as well and away you go
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne19
Oct 09, 2009 9:16 am
Thanks Fu, my dad is a retired horticulturist grape grower so i will get him to source me some zeolite or spongolite if i can't find it. Also the soils out in the new estates to the north and west in melb are just fodder as well. My inlaws are out that way and their lawn develops huge cracks in the soil which you can run a hose in for a couple of hours and not fill it up! You don't want to drop a key or credit card down them.
Re: Appropriate turf for Melbourne20
Oct 09, 2009 3:32 pm
When those cracks form, it's a great chance to fill them with some certified organic soil. Over time regular applications of certified organic soils will help break those heavy clay soils up. As will the regular use of powerfeed.
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