Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld



and lawn care in Queensland


Top: Spodoptera frugiperda (Image by Russ Ottens,
University of Georgia,, CC BY 3.0 US).
Bottom: Stenotaphrum secundatum

Mixed Turf - a Defence
Against Armyworm?

In Queensland, one of the pests referred to in the broad category of "lawn grubs" is the lawn armyworm, Spodoptera mauritia. Caterpillars of this moth attack suburban lawns as well as cereal crops. In the USA, fall armyworm, Spodoptera. frugiperda causes similar damage.

Chemicals can be used to control such pests, but cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternatives are obviously preferable. What about finding resistant grass types?

In recent American study with fall armyworm, six varieties of St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum, AKA buffalo) showed similar susceptibility when grown as individually as monocultures.

However, damage was reduced when two varieties were grown as a mixture, even more when four varieties were grown together. While the mechanisms underlying this curious result are not totally understood, it suggests that turf sold as custom mixtures could be a way forward for more pest-resistant lawns.

Read more about the study here: Mixing grass varieties may reduce insect infestations in lawns. More information about armyworms in Queensland: Armyworm (Queensland Government) and Spodoptera mauritia (Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley)

Older news at bottom of page.

Where to buy turf and associated products in Qld


Turf farms are the major source of ready-to-lay turf for sale, but you might have to ring around to find one in your area that sells the grass variety you're looking for. Some garden centres might also have small quantities of of live turf available for small areas or repairs, as well as lawn seed.

Sorry, no listings at present

Do you operate a turf farm or supply lawn products to Qld? This section is intended to provide an easy way for Queensland home owners to find a turf farm or other places to buy retail turf (rolls, sprigs, cells), lawn seed, artificial turf or related products. If you operate a turf farm, landscape supply yard, or artifical turf business supplying the Qld retail market, and you're interested in advertising on this page, click here for more information about advertising.

More Online Information

Turf is a big investment both finacially and in terms of time and effort, so a little research before you buy will be well worth the trouble. Species readily available in Qld for backyard lawns include:

Digitaria didactyla (Queensland Blue Couch)

Cynodon dactylon (Green Couch)

Stenotaphrum secundatum (Buffalo or St. Augustine)

Dactyloctenium australe (Sweet Smother or Durban Grass)

Besides the basic species, there are many named selections and hybrids of turf grasses on the market. Some are protected by Plants Breeders Rights (PBR). Some may be more suitable for professionally maintained sports fields than domestic lawns. Others may be relatively new on the market, so yet to prove themselves under local conditions.

Some considerations in making your selection may be drought hardiness, heat and cold tolerance, shade tolerance, salt tolerance, invasiness (of garden beds etc), fineness and softness of leaf, resistance to foot traffic, growth rate. Depending on the particular situation, some of these criteria may be more important than others.

When consulting with your turf supplier, explain your needs to help them make an appropriate recommendation for your yard.

More Online Information

The following links are for general information and research - some information may be inappropriate for local conditions.
Links about general lawn care issues here: Lawnmowing and Lawn Services

How low can you mow University of Hawaii
For A Healthy Lawn, Maintain and Adjust Your Lawnmower Properly University of California Cooperative Extension
Lawns - Establishment and Maintenance Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines (PDF)
Installation of natural turfgrass Turf Queensland (PDF)
ACT Grass Project Research into grass seed germination and establishment, particularly for revegetation purposes
WaterWise lawns Contains some suggestions for drought tolerant grasses (recently released varieties might not be included). Environmental Protection Agency, Qld
Water Use & Drought Tolerance in Turf Grasses Update The University of Western Australia
Turfgrass: A low water use landscape plant Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Treatment of Flooded Turfgrass Turf Queensland (PDF)
Growing Turfgrass in the Shade University of Florida
Solar House Project - Bribie Island, Qld, Australia Shows how a turf-covered driveway that allows traffic without damage to grass was created
A Word about Lawns Society for Growing Australian Plants Queensland Region, Inc.
More on the Lawn Debate Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants
Maintenance of Turfgrass Turf Queensland (PDF)
Sustainable Turf Care Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, USA
Optimising nitrogen fertiliser use on turf Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Iron for turfgrass nutrition Golf Course Management, The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (PDF)

Some types of turf for Queensland & warm climates

Suitable Lawn Grasses for the NT Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines (PDF)

Queensland Blue Couch

Is it green couch or blue couch? Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Blue couch Digitaria didactyla. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Aussiblue Digitaria didactyla (formerly D. swazilandensis) Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Digitaria didactyla Tropical Forages
Blue couch Better Pastures for the Tropics and Subtropics, Tropical Grassland Society of Australia Inc.
Digitaria didactyla Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Digitaria didactyla World Grass Species, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Digitaria didactyla Willd. Grassland Species, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Iron deficiency in Queensland blue couch Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Digitaria didactyla Ecocrop database, FAO

Green Couch

You'll find plenty of other information about this group of grasses on the internet - search using the American common name "Bermudagrass".
Green couch (Cynodon dactylon) Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Choosing a green couch cultivar Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Bermudagrass University of Hawaii at Manoa (PDF)
Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns University of Florida
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) University of Georgia
Bermudagrass Texas A&M University
Discovering John Bidwell: Two Chico State Historians on the Trail of a Pioneer Some interesting information about the history of Bermuda grass in California. California State University, Chico
Cynodon dactylon (PDF) at the Australian Weeds and Livestock website, NSW (discusses toxicity of weeds and other plants to animals)
Cynodon dactylon Ecocrop database, FAO


Buffalo grass Stenotaphrum secundatum) Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Stenotaphrum secundatum Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plants, Florida
California Turfgrass Culture, Volume 45, 1 & 2, 1995 Contains several articles about Buffalo grass (PDF)
Stenotaphrum secundatum Ecocrop database, FAO

Sweet Smother Grass

Sweet smother grass (Dactyloctenium australe) Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Dactyloctenium australe World Grass Species, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Dactyloctenium australe Tropical Forages (no information on that page but link has been added in case it's updated in the future)

Carpet Grass

Broadleaf carpetgrass (Axonopus compressus). Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Narrowleaf carpetgrass (Axonopus fissifolius, formerly A. affinis) Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Axonopus compressus Ecocrop database, FAO


Zoysia links have been moved to a seperate page: Zoysia


Well-known as a vigorous tropical pasture grass, kikuyu is not common as a turf in Queensland (at least in urban gardens). However, a new variety selected for lawns has recently (2008) appeared on the market. It could be a way of harnessing some of the desirable qualities of kikuyu in a domestic landscape.
Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Kikuyu Grass Reproduction of a 1925 article, describing performance of kikuyu in California in the first few years after it's introduction
Kikuyugrass - Pennisetum clandestinum University of California
Pennisetum clandestinum Tropical Forages
Kikuyu grass National Weeds Strategy, Australia
Pennisetum clandestinum Chiov. University of Hawai`i at Manoa

Artificial Grass

Developments in artifical grass are making it an increasingly attractive alternative for many, given water shortages in addition to the general work associated with growing and maintaining an attractive lawn. It also makes a grass-like surface possible on concrete, rooftops, indoors etc, where a grass lawn whoul be impractical or impossible.
Artificial Turf Some information about the early development of artificial turf

Lawns of Australian Grasses The Society for Growing Australian Plants

Weeds, Pests, Diseases

Note that some control recommendations in interstate and international publications might not be applicable in Queensland. Consult your local nursery or garden centre for advice on currently available chemicals. See also the main Pests and Diseases page
(More links to be added in future updates)
How To Detect Insect Pests In Turfgrass University of California Cooperative Extension
Lawn armyworm in pastures, lawns and field crops Spodoptera mauritia. Qld Dept Employment, Economic Development & Innovation
White curl grub in lawns Qld Dept Employment, Economic Development & Innovation
Felted coccid in lawns Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Fungal diseases of lawns - predisposing factors Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Dollar spot of turfgrass Colorado State University Extension
Soil-borne turfgrass diseases Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Grey slime mould on lawnsPhysarum cinereum Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Floral smut of green couch Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
Control of common weeds in lawns Department of Agriculture Western Australia (PDF)
annual poa (Poa annua) Massey University, New Zealand
Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) University of California
paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum) Massey University, New Zealand
white clover (Trifolium repens) Massey University, New Zealand
creeping oxalis (Oxalis exilis) Massey University, New Zealand


Variously known by other common names around the world, including burweed, spurweed, jo-jo, onehunga)
Control of jo-jo (aka Onehunga or bindii) Department of Agriculture Western Australia (PDF)
Lawn burweed (spurweed) Univ. California
Lawn Burweed Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, South Carolina
Soliva anthemifolia (Juss.) R.Br. ex Less. PlantNET, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Soliva sessilis Ruiz & Pav. PlantNET, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Onehunga weed Soliva sessilis

Crow's foot grass Eluesine indica

Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. (photo gallery) Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. Open Source for Weed Assessment in Lowland Paddy Fields ( O S W A L D )
Eleusine indica - (L.)Gaertn. Plants for a Future

Older News

Weeds don't play fair

A study of Digitaria sanguinalis, the common weed of lawns and field commonly called "crabgrass", has shown that there's more to its success than simple competition. Chemicals from Digitaria caused changes in nearby soil microbes which reduced growth of test crops. The allelopathic chemicals could also directly affect other plants. Source: Crabgrass' secret: The despised weed makes herbicide to kill neighboring plants (June 2013)

Fungicide could cut down lawnmowing
A fungicide used, among other things, to treat dollar spot of turf could be used to increase efficiency of crops like corn. It was previously known that interfering with steroid biosynthesis could produce dwarf, female-flowering com plants, but the chemical required was far too expensive for practical use. American researchers, however, have found that the fungicide propiconazole is far cheaper. Testing on other grains is planned. It's also possible that greater use on golf courses could slow grass growth and save cutting costs. Source: Tiny plants could cut costs, shrink environmental footprint (May 2012)

Easier lawns inspired by nature
A study in the Southern United States found that a turf created from a mixture of native grasses was thicker and resisted weed infestation better under a regime of moderate mowing frequency comparing a Bermudagrass (Green Couch). This suggests that creating a type of stable ecosystem could produce a better lawns with lower maintenance and imputs required. Source: Native Lawn Performance Research (April 2011)

New solution to the shaded turf problem
A giant moveable tray allows the playing surface at University of Phoenix Stadium (host to the 2008 Super Bowl) to be grown outside and wheeled in for games. Turf cultivation inside stadiums presents special challenges, as this post at The Human Flower Project blog explains: 106 Million Players: Super Turf '08.

Aussie natives may deliver more sustainable turf
Australian native grass species will be considered in a breeding program to select turf grasses that look good with less water and fertiliser. Read more at the University of Queensland website: Turf grass, just add (less) water

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