Often labelled as an Australian icon, the patch of lawn in your suburban yard offers many benefits to you and your family.

It is where you and your kids can relax on a sunny afternoon.  They can run wild, kick a ball, or even roll around while you can lie back on a rug without concern.  Your dog has plenty of room too, to stretch its legs and release some excess energy before the evening walk.

An area of lawn is often central to an Australian garden for these reasons and many more, so what are your options for installing a lawn that will suit you and your family the best?

Seeded Lawn

Lawn seed is available in a range of varieties and many are suited to the Australian climate and a variety of conditions (ie. shaded, drought tolerant, etc) as can be found here at Anco Turf.

(Image via Lawn Lad)

(Image via Lawn Lad)

Planting a lawn by seed is the most cost effective in installation (it could cost as little as $0.50 per square metre for seed), however there is a longer time between first planting the lawn and having it grow enough to be able to use it.  This means that the lawn must be fenced off and protected from children, pets and even birds while the seed has a chance to take and then grow into a dense mat of lawn.  The lawn is not usually ready to mow for about 5-6 weeks.

Instant Turf

An industry that has appeared to flourish over the last 5-10 years.  Often seen as an expensive way to install lawn, instant turf will cost you approximately $13 per square metre (plus installation unless you do it yourself) and as the name implies, it will give you an instant area of lawn.

(Photo by J Davidson)

(Photo by J Davidson)

Instant turf is also available in a range of varieties (as seen here at StrathAyr & Anco Turf) but my personal favorite is ‘Sir Walter Buffalo’.  It is hardy and proven in Australia and is the turf I recommend.  We installed 60 metres of Sir Walter Buffalo (seen above) one week before the recent Melbourne heatwave (4 days straight over 40 degrees C) and with daily watering it has not only survived but thrived!

Although more expensive in the initial outlay, I believe that instant turf is still a good option for a healthy and good quality long term lawn.

Synthetic Turf

Which brings us to another option and one that has many turn away in disgust – Synthetic Turf.

The look of a synthetic or ‘fake’ lawn has changed substantially over the last 10 years and there are a number of good quality products that you can install for a successful lawn.

Synthetic Turf in our Brighton Family Garden project

Synthetic Turf in our Brighton Family Garden project

Some synthetic lawn types in Australia are even made to be more indicative of an Australian lawn and feature brown flecks throughout.  You can’t have a lawn in Australia and expect it to be entirely lush and green!

Summer Envy - By Tiger Turf

Summer Envy – By Tiger Turf

Synthetic lawn costs approximately $30 – $50 per square metre (plus installation) so it is the most expensive option for your backyard, however it does have its benefits.  Synthetic lawn doesn’t need to be mowed or watered, so apart from a bit of a sweep of leaves it has next to no maintenance.  It is a great solution for small areas where a natural lawn would be impractical due to wear from foot traffic or lack of natural light.  Finally, synthetic lawn retains its look all year round.  So it won’t yellow off or go crispy in Summer and it won’t get patchy due to disease.

So the choice is yours!

The type of lawn you chose is entirely based on your situation.  A seeded lawn is economical to start off, but it requires a lengthy installation time.  Instant turf looks great from the start, however it costs more.  Then a synthetic lawn is most expensive but will give you a low maintenance and guaranteed look regardless of shade, traffic, size of area or drought!

For more information on lawn check out:

Anco Turf

StrathAyr Instant Lawn

Tiger Turf Australia