While the warmer months are considered ideal for new turf installation, with the right type of turf and preparation you can successfully install turf all year round.
Installing turf in winter can actually have some benefits. Although it may take a bit longer to establish, it requires significantly less water to do so and by the time summer comes around your new lawn will be in full swing!
Whether you’re installing a whole new lawn or filling in bare patches, you can successfully install your winter lawn with the following tips & tricks.
Can I install new turf in winter?
The short and simple answer? Yes! You can install new turf in winter - even in the coolest parts of Victoria!
There are many myths when it comes to winter turf installation. However, you can easily install a new turf in winter provided that your lawn is in full sun and attracts low foot traffic until it fully establishes.
If your lawn is in full shade during winter and has high foot traffic (for example, you own dogs) then it’s best to wait until the warmer months to ensure a successful project outcome.
Some people might also have concerns that if they install turf in winter that the turf won’t root in. Luckily, we implement a number of measures to ensure the turf we supply during winter is a premium quality product. This includes the use of frost blankets to protect the turf from frostbite, as well as the application of ColourGuard to restore lawn colour. We also cut our turf in a slab cut form, instead of a traditional turf roll, which gives us the ability to put a more consistent base of soil on the turf for better establishment. This process also negates the need for you to top dress your turf in summer or winter, which will help you save time and money on your landscape project budget.
What are the benefits of installing turf in winter?
There are many benefits to winter turf installation. For one, people who have a bare lawn, who are looking to sell their home, or who are building a new home can relax in the knowledge that they won’t have to wait until spring/summer to install new turf.
Other benefits of installing turf in winter include:
Less irrigation: One of the main benefits of establishing new turf in winter is significantly lower water usage.
While a new lawn will need some initial irrigation to successfully establish, you can get away with watering much less over winter. In fact, the most awesome thing about our warm season turf varieties is that they require low-to-no watering during chilly winter months. This is because if you’ve had adequate rainfall, rain should sustain your lawn through the winter season. The best part? It will have had a head start in getting established come springtime!
Fully established lawn by summer: Australians love our lawns. In Victoria, especially, we all appreciate being outdoors once the warm weather rolls around. By establishing new turf in winter, you can fully appreciate your lawn come spring and summer. Why wait? Get started now!
Less mowing and maintenance: Installing new turf in winter means you won’t have to mow it until the warmer months return! So, if you're time-poor or simply don’t want to spend the shorter, colder days outside mowing then install new turf now!
Keep in mind, after installing an instant turf in winter, you will notice root initiation but it will be a little slower compared to what it would be during peak growing season.
Preparing for winter turf installation
To ensure optimal results, we advise all turf varieties to be installed only in full sun and low traffic areas over winter (between May-August).
There are a few things you can do to prepare your winter turf and give it the best chance of success. If you have chosen the Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo during the Autumn/Winter period, make sure you:
- Spread Sir Launcher (as supplied) over the prepared area before installation. Ensure it’s raked through the top 10mm of your area to secure soil contact.
- Apply Seasol at a rate of 2 litres per 100 m2 over the top of the turf once installed.
- We also recommend fertilising your new turf with Lawn Solutions Fertiliser Premium Lawn Food about 5-6 weeks after installation.
In winter, new turf won’t dry out as quickly as it would in the warmer months. However, it’s still recommended you install your turf as quickly as possible - ideally on the day your new turf arrives.
All season turf types
If you choose to install new turf in winter, then it’s important to choose the right turf to suit your climate. Here is a list of year round turf solutions:
Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo lawn
Once established, Sir Walter DNA Certified is the number one performer for residential yards with dogs and children. It’s the king of turf in shade, and while it thrives in shade during the summer, we recommend you hold off until spring if you have a shaded area in winter where the new lawn will be installed.
Eureka Premium VG Kikuyu
Eureka Premium VG Kikuyu is perfect for public green spaces, school ovals, or residential yards that need to sustain high traffic during winter. Eureka is more active than other drought tolerant turf varieties during dormancy, making it a great choice for winter.
TifTuf Bermuda Couch
TifTuf is a dense growth turf with a very fine leaf blade, making it ideal for a variety of applications. Its density allows it to sustain high traffic areas including backyards and sports fields.
Nullarbor Couch is great for backyard sporting heroes who want the ball to bounce in backyard cricket! Gives a great manicured lawn look, and is able to sustain high traffic. It can also be mown short.
Slab cut turf
Slab cut turf is superior to traditional turf rolls and is the very best turf option not just for winter, but all year round! The superior SOD strength of slab cut turf makes it strong and durable, and much easier to install for the DIY turf project or veteran turfie.
What type of turf to choose?
Every turf variety has its own unique mix of features and benefits. When choosing a turf, it’s important to select the one that matches your lifestyle. Some questions to consider include:
- Is it a high or low traffic area?
- Does your space have full sun or is it shady?
- Ongoing maintenance?
- Do you have kids or pets?
- What colour and texture do you like?
- What is the space most commonly used for?
Use this guide to help you find the right turf for you.
Winter lawn maintenance
Winter calls for its own unique lawn care and maintenance. During winter, lawns go dormant. This means growth slows down or remains idle until the warmer weather returns. During winter dormancy, nutrients are stored in the lower parts of the grass stem and root. The best part about this process? Significantly less maintenance!
In winter, you won't have to mow your lawn (depending on the variety and your specific environment) and watering isn’t necessary either. In super dry, wintry conditions, we would recommend reassessing the watering of your lawn on an as needed basis pending local conditions.
The only thing to keep an eye on over winter is lawn discoloration. Warm season turf varieties are susceptible to varying degrees of discolouration during the colder months. But fear not! Applying Seasol as well as one application of ColourGuard at the start of the season is all you’ll need to keep your lawn green and healthy all season long.
Winter weeds may also penetrate during the cooler months, so hand weed where possible. Read more about Seasonal Lawn Care to get your lawn in tip top shape all year round!
Chat to us and get advice
There is no doubt that winter is upon us! Whether you’re finally getting around to that outdoor project, preparing to sell your house or have just moved into a new home, then now is the time to start! In winter, building projects don’t stop, so nor should your desire to proceed with embarking on a new lawn landscape project.
There are many benefits of installing a new lawn in winter, so long as you make the right preparations. Doing so will save you in time and money, and will guarantee a well-established lawn to enjoy come spring and summer.
If you are still unsure - give us a call and we triple check your environment is going to be conducive to a winter lawn installation project. For any questions, reach out to our knowledgeable team at Coolabah Turf by contacting us. We can help assist you in selecting the right turf variety for you and guide you on how to care for your lawn during winter.