grass lawn installation 2018When to install your turf for the best summer lawn
The ideal time for grass lawn installation is NOW
Late spring and early summer is usually regarded as the prime time for the grass lawn installation. When rainfall is plentiful, the warmer weather during late spring and summer can bring increased growth and faster establishment of new lawns at this time.
However, with the lack of rainfall predicted this year, delaying the laying of new lawns until late spring or early summer may not be ideal.
Continuing dry, warm conditions predicted
The current dry conditions being experienced across eastern Australia, do not look like easing up any time soon. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) climate outlook, released on 16th August 2018, indicates that:
- The first months of spring are likely to be drier and warmer than average, which could intensify current drought conditions leading into summer;
- There is an increased chance of an El Niño –Southern Oscillation developing, bring warmer daytime temperatures for the southern two-thirds of the country partnered with below average rainfall for northern and eastern states;
- There is potential for a brief positive IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) event during spring, which typically reduces rainfall in central and southern Australia, and can exacerbate any reduction in rainfall due to an El Niño event.
Establishing a new lawn
New lawns have an establishment period of around 6 weeks, with the first two weeks being the most critical time. During these first 2 weeks, the turf and underlay must be kept moist at all times, requiring watering at least 4 times a day or more in higher temperatures and dry conditions.
An additional 4 weeks of consistent, thorough watering, at least twice a day, is required for lawns to establish sufficiently deep root systems to enable them to survive Australia’s punishing summer temperatures.
The impact of water regulations on new lawn establishment
It is important to keep in mind that water use in the Sydney region is currently regulated under Water Wise Rules. In relation to garden and lawn care these regulations allow you to establish a new lawn with the use a sprinkler or watering systems for only 14 days after you’ve laid the turf.
After this time you may only water with hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle, sprinklers and irrigation systems before 10 am and after 4 pm on any day (or with a bucket or watering can outside of this).
Laying your lawn in late spring and summer may be too late
Lawns installed in late spring or early summer may find they are still within their 6 week establishment period when summer temperatures intensify to 40+ degress.
Under the Water Wise Rules you will be unable to water efficiently for a 6 hour window across the hottest part of the day. If your lawn has not had sufficient time to develop a deep root system prior to this, it may not be able to tolerate the intense summer temperatures without water and will likely suffer irreversible heat stress, and your invested money and time will be wasted.
The ideal time to lay your new lawns is now, in late winter and early spring. By starting your 6 week establishment period now, you will take advantage of the early spring growth period in warm temperatures, allowing the lawn to establish deep roots before the long, hot, dry summer hits.
Investing in drought tolerant lawn varieties
It may also be well worth investing in the more heat and drought tolerant lawn varieties such as Sir Walter Buffalo, Sir Grange and Tif Tuf Bermuda. This is especially important if you live in a suburbs such as those in Western Sydney that experience the hottest summer temperatures in the greater Sydney region. To find the ideal lawn for your unique needs visit our online store