If you don’t have much of a green thumb, you might not be aware that a garden lawn can be made of different types of grass. And for every type of grass, there are characteristics and traits that make them better-suited to one purpose or another. Whether you use your garden for entertaining or as a play space for the kids, the right type of lawn can go a long way to protecting both you and your garden.
Children benefit hugely from garden space. Studies have shown that children who have access to a garden to play in often perform better in school. Plus, it is a brilliant opportunity for them to learn about nature and the environment. So, if your garden is primarily used as a place for your kids to play out in, you’ll want a hard-wearing turf that can take the pitter-patter of not-so-tiny feet on it.
Dwarf ryegrass is the best type of lawn for this. This fine-leaved grass is compact and classed as a ‘hard-wearing’ turf. This is because it grows quickly, and can also regrow rapidly when damaged, so long as it is provided with adequate moisture and fertiliser.
Your pets’ kingdom
Are your pets the kings and queens of jungle that is your garden? Unsurprisingly, ryegrass is also a good choice if you have a dog that loves to trample through the garden! For small animal owners, it is worth considering mixing other grasses into your garden for your pets to graze on. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs love to chew on a range of grasses, including meadow grass. Therefore, look out for lawn grass mixes that include ryegrass and meadow grass for the best of both worlds. However, avoid giving guinea pigs in particular wet grass — damp grass can be a little mouldy, and it isn’t safe for guinea pigs to eat.
It is worth noting that fertiliser can be harmful, particularly for small grazing herbivores. It’s best to avoid using it if you have pets who use the garden.
A sanctuary for wildlife
Are you hoping to welcome birds and frogs to your garden? If you’re a wildlife fanatic, then you’ll want to look into smooth-stalked meadow grass. Alternatively, you could go down the route of a wildflower meadow-style garden and forgo traditional lawn grasses entirely for a wildflower mix of crested dog’s-tail and fescue among other meadow flowers, like yellow rattle and cowslip. Crested dog’s-tail is enjoyed by butterflies and will also stay green through the winter. As for fescue, this is a good choice as it is an attractive grazing option for a lot of native wildlife.
Of course, you can add more than just grass to your garden to bring in the wildlife. The RSPB recommends building everything from a ‘Bee B&B’ to creating a mini-pond.
Be the envy of your friends
Many people are choosing to entertain at home rather than go out, and the garden can be a great asset for that. For some gardeners, it’s all about the visual appeal of crafting a living piece of art! If this fits the image of your dream garden, you will want to opt for finer-leaved grasses. These types of lawn grass don’t feature much durability, but without much footfall happening in an ornamental garden, they don’t need to. For this reason, chewings fecue fits into any display garden. This grass is fine-leaved and has a darker shade of green to it than some other turfs. It is also quite tolerant of low temperatures and shade, so it works great for a UK lawn.
Grow your own way
How about growing your own veg and herbs? Embracing the true meaning of organic, for those of us who are growing our own vegetables in grow bags, there’s a fantastic option for your lawn to expand your vegetable patch — no lawn at all!
You can remove any type of lawn entirely and replace them with flowerbed. They will still look amazing when all your vegetables and herbs are growing, and you will find yourself with more space to tend to more produce. You can use play bark or pathways to tidy up around the edges of your new garden beds too.
The right lawn can really make a difference to your garden. If you pick the best grass for the job, you’ll certainly find it a lot easier to care for. If you are still unsure what grass is the best for you then why not hire a gardener.