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Weeping Grass Lawns: A Quick Guide
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Weeping Grass Lawns: A Quick Guide

Lovers of native gardens may be looking for a native lawn variety that will attract Australian flora and fauna, and provide a complement to their indigenous garden theme.

If you’re looking for a native grass that looks like a traditional lawn, you might consider Weeping Grass – an aesthetically pleasing native grass that grows well in the cooler eastern states of Australia. Named after its softly drooping seed heads, this highly adaptive variety can tolerate a range of conditions.  

Read on to uncover the pros and cons of Weeping Grass, and whether it is the right choice for your native Australian garden.

What is Weeping Grass?

Weeping Grass (which is also known by its botanical name Microlaena stipoides) is a cool season grass that is native to Australia and New Zealand. This perennial grass features dense, matted foliage which spreads via underground rhizomes. Characterised by soft, lime-green leaves and weeping seed heads (which give rise to its name), it grows well in acidic soils (pH less than 6), although it can grow almost anywhere.

Weeping grass grows particularly well in high rainfall locations, but once established is tolerant to extremes, including drought and frosts. In fact, it requires very little water once established and is well adapted to cope with drought conditions. It is salt-tolerant, which makes it suitable for coastal or waterfront lawns, and requires very little fertiliser.

Weeping grass can grow in a variety of light conditions – from full sun to partial shade. It commonly grows along roadsides or in shady bushland areas. It also makes an excellent ground cover beneath large trees.

Weeping grass requires minimal mowing, but if left unmowed, its leaves can grow to 30- 75cm in height. Seed heads generally reach maturity from December to May. 

The Disadvantages of Weeping Grass

One of the main disadvantages of Weeping grass is its low tolerance to heavy foot traffic. Described as being suitable for ‘passive recreation’, this variety may not be the best choice if you enjoy regular backyard cricket matches. 

If you have pets, you may want to reconsider Weeping grass for your garden, as it is highly susceptible to damage by dog urine. If left unmowed, long-haired pets may also experience skin irritation from the grass seeds.

While Weeping grass is highly adapted to Australian conditions, it can also be slow to establish from seed. To ensure the successful establishment, you will need to prepare the area thoroughly prior to sowing, ensuring that any weeds have been eliminated. 

Native grasses are also very attractive to beetles and other insects. Weeping grass may be susceptible to attacks by Thrips, Aphids, Army Worms and Cutworms.

Nara Native Zoysia - The Better Alternative

Nara Native ZoysiaIf you’re looking for a more hard-wearing native alternative, consider installing Nara Native Zoysia. It is the first all-purpose Australian native turf to be developed for the domestic market, and features a fine-textured leaf and stunning dark green colour.

Like Weeping grass, Nara Native Zoysia is a low maintenance lawn that requires less mowing, watering and fertilising than other lawn varieties. With a deep rooted system, it has outstanding water efficiency and drought tolerance, and is well suited to full sun and partial shade. It also tolerates salt, making it suitable for beachside backyards, and is ideal for erosion control and use on sloping sites.

The main advantage Nara Native Zoysia has over Weeping grass is its high wear tolerance which means it is very suited to modern outdoor living – ideal for the family home! This robust turf is quick to establish and requires very little maintenance once it has established.

Unlike many native grasses, Nara Native Zoysia is also resistant to most pests and diseases, which means your native lawn will look great year-round.

Nara Native Zoysia is suitable for most Australian locations, and you can expect to pay $12-22 per square metre.

In Conclusion

Native grasses are a great low maintenance solution for your home lawn, with good drought, salt and frost tolerability. Weeping grass is an attractive native grass variety that grows well in the eastern states, but has low wearability, and can be susceptible to pest and disease.

For a more robust alternative that grows in all conditions, and provides a stunning look and feel for your home, consider Nara Native Zoysia – the only commercially available Australian native turf.

For expert advice on the most suitable turf for your yard, speak to a myhomeTURF turf farmer or supplier in your local area. Use Find your local turf supplier to locate a local supplier.

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