Can You Mix Two Types of Grass?
Some people, looking for a cheap lawn solution, turn to using seed.
Traditional lawn seed usually contains a mix of varieties. Not only is this a laborious process but unreliable grass seed germination rates and the difficulty of protecting the newly planted grass seed often leads to less than satisfactory results.
But can you mix two types of grass when laying a premium quality instant turf?
Many years of research, careful selection and breeding have gone into the creation of our turf varieties. The resulting grass types demonstrate exceptional performance across a broad range of growing conditions including:
- Drought tolerance
- Shade and full sun tolerance
- Ability to cope with a range of soils
- Wear and tear resistance
- Rapid damage repair
- Pest resistance
In most cases, we can offer a single turf type, which if chosen well, will flourish all year round in most conditions. Naturally, the health of a lawn will also depend on ground preparation and ongoing maintenance but in most cases there is no need to mix grass types.
As with every rule, there are exceptions, and yours may just be one of those unusual situations where mixing grass types has real advantages.
What are the advantages of mixing grass types?
A mix of grass types can give your lawn greater flexibility and increase your lawn’s hardiness if parts of the lawn have unusual requirements.
Some lawns experience an extreme range of conditions that could potentially make it hard for one grass type to thrive throughout that area. For example, shade levels may show extreme variance throughout the year.
Some parts of your lawn may be subject to considerably greater levels of wear and tear than other parts. There may be drainage problems or poorer soil types in parts of the lawn.
DIY ground preparation can make these issues worse, that’s why we recommend that you get the professionals in to install new turf.
Mixing grass types can deliver a combination of qualities that is very attractive. For example, Kikuyu has a relatively coarse leaf texture and has higher maintenance requirements than other popular grass types.
Couch has a much softer finer leaf and lower maintenance requirements so could mix with Kikuyu to make your lawn feel and look softer and more lush.
What are the disadvantages of mixed grass types?
Mixing the wrong grass types can create real problems. For example, Kikuyu is highly competitive and can inhibit other grass varieties due to its rampant growth.
Or, if you choose a grass mix where one type copes with the shade but not drought you might find patches dying off in the summer months allowing weeds to invade.
It’s not only important to get the right mix of grass types but you also need to get the right seed ratio. This will help ensure that you don’t have uneven patches of growth.
Maintenance requirements for different varieties vary as well. If you have a grass mix where one type grows much faster than the other you can end up with a very uneven lawn.
When is mixing grass types a good idea?
Sometimes circumstances outside of your control can produce radical impacts on your lawn. It might be the neighbour’s trees have grown far taller than anticipated and are now creating significantly deeper shade over part of your lawn.
Likewise, the appearance of a multi-storey apartment block next door can have radical impacts on your backyard’s microclimate.
It could of course, be the other way round and the removal of some trees has exposed a deeply shaded lawn to full sun.
Perhaps the grass no longer cope as well with an increased level of wear and tear, and bare patches are not self-repairing as they used to.
If circumstances change and your lawn is not coping as well as it once did you might need to spread another grass seed type over any damaged or bare patches that appear.
When choosing grass seed to mix with an existing type you’ll need to consider the following:
- Soil conditions
- Extent of shade & sun
- Maintenance requirements
- Compatibility with existing lawn
- Wear and tear performance
Quality turf is in our DNA so talk to our friendly, expert staff and our lawn pros will be happy to recommend the best solutions.
Rather than mixing grass types within a specific area, the better solution might be to use one type of grass in the problem area and another elsewhere.
So, you might use Zoysia in the deeply shaded backyard and Sir Walter around the sunnier side of the house. This can work especially well if you separate the two areas with a path or garden feature.
Do you really need to mix grass types?
Given that grass mixes can be problematic, it’s probably easier to simply choose one of our outstanding grass varieties. They’re bred specifically for Australian conditions and will cope with a wide range of extremes.
Here are some options that are perfect for the most challenging backyards.
Sir Grange Zoysia is a fantastic choice for lawns with extreme conditions. It’s one of the most drought resistant grasses on the market yet it will thrive in up to 50% shade in low wear settings.
It has a lovely soft, rich green leaf and will grow well in poor soils. It is a warm season grass but will cope well with relatively cold temperatures.
Sir Walter Buffalo is a one of the best choices for deeply shaded lawns, it will thrive in up to 80% shade and so will be much happier than other grass types in those really gloomy spots.
Sir Walter produces a lush soft leaf with good deep green colour. It’s hard wearing and will usually maintain good colour throughout winter.
Matilda, likewise, can cope with up to 70 or 80% shade. It’s also a very tough, hard wearing grass that will cope with moderate wear and tear.
Sir Grange Zoysia, Matilda and Sir Walter Buffalo grasses all cope well with full sun and drought conditions too.
So, any one of these is a great choice if you’re looking for a single grass type that will outperform almost any grass mix to produce stunning soft green lawn all year round in the most challenging settings.