What time of year can I lay instant lawn?

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 6 April 2013 

Roll out lawns and turf can be planted year round in Adelaide – that includes the coldest day winter and the hottest day of summer! Most people are hesitant to lay lawn in the heat of summer and the cold of winter –  It’s almost ingrained in our paradigms and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a wives tale, in most circumstances there are no problems laying instant turf on even the coldest day of winter.

For the person reading this thinking to themselves, “that can’t be true!”, let me take you back a few steps and shed some light on this often misunderstood idea. Most of the instant lawn varieties available in Adelaide are called warm season grasses. That simply means that they do their growing in the Spring Summer and Autumn and go dormant in the Winter. That’s pretty consistent with most plants in Adelaide with the exception of a few and if that was all the information you had available to you to determine whether you could or couldn’t plant an instant lawn in winter I could well understand how you might think that winter was a bad time but there is a whole lot more you should know before making that conclusion.  There are many trees and plants where the best time to plant them is winter because they are dormant. Now I’m not going to say that the best time of year to plant an instant lawn is winter because there are some limitations and precautions that you will need to take but I will say that just because a lawn is dormant and the weather outside is cold, it doesn’t mean that it will die if you plant it.  The advantages of course are that turf will cover over unsightly soil and mud, it will help reduce water erosion and it will make your landscape project look a whole lot better than leaving it till spring.

Adelaide is known as a temperate climatic region. While we do get some scorching temperatures from time to time during the summer, the changes between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold. Except for some hills areas, we don’t get snow during the winter and temperatures rarely drop below zero.

Unless you live in an area that has constant snow or ice during winter, with the exception of zoysia species, cold weather isn’t going to kill your newly planted lawn! Dormant lawns are just that – dormant. A warm season instant lawn planted in winter will quite happily sit there all winter waiting for the spring warmth to send down its roots.

The same can be said about planting lawns in hot weather. Couch, kikuyu and buffalo varieties thrive in hot weather – the hotter it is, the faster they grow. Hot weather will not kill your lawn anymore than cold weather will. Hot weather will however dry out your turf faster so it does mean you will have to water more frequently during the establishment phase. 

The short of it is, Spring, Summer and Autumn are always going to be the best times to lay instant lawn but Winter is definatly an option if your situation requires it.

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