Couch Grass

Couch Grass

Couch grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm season grass that originates from Africa. It has become a stalwart in Australian landscapes, thanks to its high drought tolerance, exceptional ability to withstand lots of traffic, and is regularly selected for sporting and recreational uses.

Couch grass features fine leaves and a stunning deep green colour, which adds to its appeal as a top choice for Australian homes.

Characteristics of Couch Grass

Aussie home-owners choose a Couch grass for a variety of reasons:

High Drought Tolerance

The robust deep-rooted system of Couch grass gives it an advantage over other varieties during drought and stressful conditions. The variety’s high drought tolerance makes it an ideal choice for areas where water restrictions are commonly imposed. Once Couch lawn has dried-off due to lack of water, it is one of the first turf varieties to easily recover.

Very High Wear Tolerance for Kids and Pets

Couch is a very hard-wearing grass and can tolerate the wear and tear of lots of traffic as it quickly repairs when damaged. Hard-wearing grasses are ideal for families wanting a place for children and dogs to play or where the lawn is used as a walkway. The ability for Couch grass to develop a moderate thatch layer provides this very high wear tolerance.

A Fine Leaf that is Soft to Touch

Couch grasses today have a finer leaf blade than most other turf varieties making it soft to touch and dense underfoot. The finer leaf of Couch lawn also means there is less water evaporation – another reason it is ideal for hot, dry conditions.

Beautiful Dark Green Colour

Couch grass has a dark green colour that stands out compared to other lawn varieties and also maintains its colour for longer. This dark green colour is also sustained even when Couch grass is planted in poor quality soils or in soils where nutrition is considered inadequate for other lawn varieties.

Salt Tolerance for Seaside Homes

Couch grasses have the highest salt tolerance compared to most other lawn varieties making it ideal for coastal areas and pool sides. Salty soils can prevent lawns from absorbing both water and nutrients, however, Couch grass can cope with low water and nutrients giving it a high salt tolerance.

Thrives in Full Sun Areas

Couch grass is a sun-loving survivor. The lawn thrives in hot Australian summers and can withstand temperatures reaching 40 degrees centigrade, making it suitable for some of the hotter parts of the Country.

Tolerates Low Mowing Heights

Thanks to its lateral growth, Couch grass can withstand mowing heights that are lower than most varieties, which means that you can get away with mowing less frequently.

Not the Most Shade Tolerant

Couch grass is the ultimate sun-lover, requiring a minimum 5 to 6 hours direct sunlight a day, which means it does not perform well in highly shaded areas.

Couch Grass Maintenance


Couch grasses have excellent water efficiency, and don’t need to be watered excessively to thrive.

In summer, you can water your Couch lawn every 7-10 days, or when it shows signs of drying out. In some cases, you may get away with less frequent watering. Where possible, try to water your lawn early in the morning. This will not only save water, but will make it easier for the lawn to absorb as much water as possible before the heat of the day sets in. Also, watering at night can encourage fungal growth.

In winter, Couch requires very little watering, as it can survive on rainfall alone. During the cooler weather, your Couch lawn may brown off slightly – this is not due to a lack of water, and the colour should return once the weather starts to warm up again.

Check out our article on the dos and don’ts of watering your lawn.


Couch grass tends to spread laterally. For this reason, it may require less mowing than other grasses.

Mowing height will vary season to season, with a range of 18mm-30mm being typical. In shaded areas, the grass should be mowed 5mm-10mm higher than in sunny areas. For a clipped, manicured look, try to keep your Couch below 25mm, and make sure to keep your mower blades sharpened to ensure a clean cut. You should aim to remove about one third of the leaf with each mowing.

The recommended mowing frequency for Couch grass is twice a month during summer and spring, and once a month during winter and autumn.

Couch grass is a moderate thatching variety, which makes it very resistant to wear. If required, dethatching should be planned for early spring.


Couch grasses respond well to small amounts of fertiliser, so you don’t need to fertilise too often. Keep a regular feeding schedule, and your lawn will thrive – up to three to four times a year.

To maintain winter colour, you can apply a slow release fertiliser in mid-late autumn.

Check out our tips on how to get the most out of fertilising your lawn.

Weed Control

Couch has a dense, vigorous growing habit, which means it outcompetes most weeds. However, if your lawn does appear to be impacted by unwanted weeds, it’s important to treat them before they completely take over your lawn.

You should use an appropriate herbicide for the weed you are treating, and be sure to carefully read and follow any instructions on the label.

Pest Control

Couch grass can be susceptible to certain lawn pests, such as Lawn Grubs and Army Worms, as well as the African Black Beetle. If you notice lots of birds feeding on your lawn, you may have a problem with some of these pests.

If you suspect that your Couch grass is being negatively impacted by pests, you should use an appropriate pesticide. For the best results, make sure that your treat your lawn at the right time.

Disease Control

Dollar Spot is a lawn disease that may develop in your Couch lawn under humid conditions. It causes the appearance of yellow dollar-sized spots on your lawn. Left untreated, Dollar Spot can spread across your lawn.

Dollar Spot, and a range of other lawn diseases, can be treated by using an appropriate fungicide. Always read and follow the instructions on the label.

Couch Grass Varieties

myhomeTURF recommends two Australian grown Couch varieties.


OZTUFF® Couch is a fine leafed, low maintenance grass requiring minimum input, low fertiliser and water requirements year-round. A hard-wearing tough, quick-recovering grass for your back yard or sports field, OZTUFF Couch boasts an eye-catching deep green colour, even when grown in poor quality soils or where nutrition is low.

Known as “the lawn that can take care of itself”, OZTUFF also has the highest salt tolerance of any couch variety making it suitable for beachfront properties and pool sides.

Where it grows: OZTUFF is suitable for all growing environments along the eastern seaboard from Brisbane down to Melbourne. 

Expect to pay: Between $8-14 per square metre.

Stadium Sports Couch

Stadium® Sports Couch is bred for both the homeowner and sporting arena and is the darkest green Couch available. Stadium Sports turf stays naturally dark green even with low fertiliser application compared to other Couch types. In warm, humid conditions Stadium Sports turf copes extremely well and has no major thatch issues – meaning less maintenance.

Where it grows: This tough Couch variety grows well in areas from Sydney through to mid-north Queensland.

Expect to pay: Between $8-14 per square metre.

myhomeTURF’s Certificate of Authenticity provides you with the confidence and satisfaction that you have bought the genuine variety from our licenced farmers. Don’t forget to ask for your own certificate when you have purchased your new law – and enjoy!

IronCutter® Elite Hybrid Bermudagrass

 IronCutter® Elite Hybrid Bermudagrass is a more aesthetic, less thatching and lower maintenance grass than many of the current Bermudagrasses on the Australian market.  IronCutter® is known for its deepest green colour and early spring green-up. This variety is performing exceptionally well under Australian conditions.

Where it grows: IronCutter® is a versatile grass variety and is suitable for high drought environments as well as cold climates and is available in South East Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

Expect to pay: Between $12-18 per square metre. 

Recommended Products for Couch Grass

Check out myhomeTURF’s online store for a range of lawn care products suitable for your Couch lawn. 

Bow and Arrow 500mL

Bow and Arrow is an effective broadleaf liquid herbicide suitable for use on Couch lawns. It can be used to treat White Clover, Plantain, Capeweed, Cat’s Ear, Bindii, Cudweed and Creeping Oxalis.


OxaFert is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide, which can be used for the treatment of Summer Grass, Crowsfoot Grass, Winter Grass and Creeping Oxalis in your Couch lawn.

LawnPride Maintain 26-2-9 + 3.4 Fe 20kg

Lawn Pride Maintain 26-2-9 + 3.4 Fe is one of the most popular granular all-round lawn fertilisers on the market with the active ingredients of Nitrogen (N – 26), Phosphorus (P – 2), Potassium (K – 9) and Iron (Fe – 3.4). It is suitable for application on Couch grasses.

Acelepryn GR 10kg

Acelepryn GR provides unmatched granular seasonal control against Long Grub and Caterpillar control in one single application. Suitable for Couch grasses.

In Conclusion

Couch grass is a warm season grass that thrives in the Australian climate. It copes exceptionally well with high temperatures and water restrictions but falls down when it comes to shade tolerance. Couch is highly sought after for its fine leaves and lush deep green colour. It is the perfect solution for busy backyards, as it can withstand the pressures of pets, children and heavy foot traffic.

myhomeTURF recommends two high performing Couch varieties that are perfectly suited to Australian conditions – OZTUFF and Stadium Sports.

For expert advice on the right grass selection for your home, speak to your local turf farmer or supplier. Use Find a Turf Supplier to locate a supplier in your area.

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