Seed

Nearly 10% of all new lawns are established by seed. New and improved species and varieties are continually being developed and released by overseas and Australian organisations. Lawn seed provides an alternative to vegetative turf and is well suited for smaller applications, repair work and where budget constraints may exist. It is important to know about what seed you are purchasing and if it suitable to meet your needs and environmental conditions.

 

Lawn seed in Australia

Much of the lawn seed sold commercially within Australia by retail stores are blends containing greater than 85% cool-season grass species. The names on the well branded packages do not normally indicate what the species mix is and may actually claim a deceptive range of climatic adaptation. A species list, using either common or scientific name, will normally be shown in smaller print somewhere on the back or side of the packet. This information is very important in knowing what you are purchasing and ultimately how the seed will perform in your environment.

 

It is surprisingly common for temerate of cool-season climate grass species to be found in lawn seed blends sold in Queensland stores. Although the seed may germinate, the seedlings will not persist in QLD's warm climate. Any long-term success with such blends in Queensland will be attributable to the presence of usually smaller quantities of warm-season turfgrass species present within some mixes e.g. green couch or kikuyu.

 

Cool-season turf species found in lawn seed blends sold in Queensland are shown below. These species will ultimately not produce a sustainable lawn under QLD conditions.

 

Common name

Species name

Suitable for Queensland?

Bentgrass

Agrostis sp.

No

Tall fescue

Festuca arundinacea

No

Fine fescue (including Chewings fescue, Creeping red fescue and Hard fescue)

Festuca sp.

No

Perennial ryegrass

Lolium perenne

Winter annual (does not persist reliably through summer), cooler areas only.

Annual ryegrass

Lolium multiflorum

Winter annual, cooler areas only.

Kentucky bluegrass

Poa pratensis

No

Rough bluegrass

Poa trivialis

No

 

Hulled or Unhulled

Purchased seed may be hulled or unhulled or a mixture of both. Hulled seed germinates faster, but is more expensive.

 

Purity

The purity percentage shows how much of the material in the packet consists of seeds of the labelled species, the remainder being inert material or other seeds. The germination percentage then tells you how many live seeds there are in the pure seed fraction. For example, a minimum 98 percent purity and 75 percent germination means that the seed company claims that there is a maximum of 2% inert matter and other seeds present, and that at least three quarters of the seeds are viable.

 

Seed coating

Some varieties of seed are coated to provide improved plant protection, vigor and performance. The coating comes in a range of colours depending on the manufacturer and their point of difference. Coating has the ability to apply fertiliser, insecticides, fungicides and or absorbent technology to the seed to help with germination and growth during the establishment period.

 

Seed types

Below is a list of seeded turf species and or varieties highlighting their availability and favoured geographic growing conditions, by states and territories, across Australia. Be sure to check the packet to see what you are really purchasing.

 

Common name

Species name

Variety name

Availability

QLD

NSW

VIC

TAS

SA

WA

NT

ACT

Green couch

Cynodon dactylon

Many varieties e.g. Princess 77

Yes

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Blue couch

Digitaria didactyla

QLD Blue Couch

Selected outlets

Ö

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalograss

Stenotaphrum secundatum

Coming soon

Coming soon

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Panicum

Panicum laxum

ShadeGro

Currently unavailable

Ö

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Centipede grass

Eremochloa ophiuroides

Common

Selected outlets

Ö

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narrow leaf carpet grass

Axonopus fissifolius

Common

selected outlets

Best in coastal southern QLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bahia grass

Paspalum notatum

Blue Dawn

Selected outlets

More commonly regarded as a weed in southern Queensland

 

 

 

 

 

Ö

 

Kikuyu

Pennisetum clandestinum

Whittet

Yes

Suited to subtropics and tropical highland districts

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Indian bluegrass

Bothriochloa pertusa

Dawson

Selected outlets

Best suited to central and north QLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bentgrass

Agrostis sp.

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

Tall fescue

Festuca arundinacea

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

Fine fescue

Festuca sp.

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

Perennial ryegrass

Lolium perenne

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

Annual ryegrass

Lolium multiflorum

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

Kentucky bluegrass

Poa pratensis

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

Rough bluegrass

Poa trivialis

Common

Yes

 

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

 

 

 

 

Establishment

For information on seed establishment and care, please refer to our site preparation, planting and after planting care pages.