drought tolerant grass variety

Is TifTuf Good?

Aug 29, 2023

The right kind of lawn grass can elevate the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor landscape. TifTuf has emerged as a popular choice of grass for its exceptional qualities. It is a hybrid Bermuda grass variety known for its resilience, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. But is TifTuf good?

Let’s get into the finer details of TifTuf grass to help you determine if it’s the right choice for your lawn.

Will TifTuf Spread?

TifTuf grass, scientifically known as Cynodon dactylon, is a warm-season grass variety celebrated for its robust growth and excellent spreading capabilities. It exhibits strong stoloniferous growth, meaning it spreads through above-ground runners known as stolons. This growth habit aids in its quick recovery from wear and tear, allowing it to establish a dense and even turf cover in a relatively short period.

TifTuf’s vigorous spreading habit aids in quick establishment, making it an excellent choice for lawns, sports fields, and other high-traffic areas. Its lateral growth ensures it can fill in bare patches relatively fast, creating a lush, green, and carpet-like appearance

Does TifTuf Grass Go Brown in Winter?

One of the concerns many homeowners have when choosing a grass type is its winter performance. TifTuf is classified as a warm-season variety. That means it thrives during the warmer months and tends to go dormant or brown during winter and in cooler climates. However, TifTuf shows improved cold tolerance compared to other Bermuda (a.k.a. couch) grass varieties, making it more resistant to winter browning.

In regions with mild winters, TifTuf will retain its green colour for a more extended period. You can expect it to experience some dormancy in places with colder winters. Despite that, TifTuf’s winter colour retention is relatively better compared to some other warm-season grasses.

While TifTuf may lose a little colour during colder periods, this is a normal characteristic of warm-season grasses. It is important to note that TifTuf tends to retain its colour for a longer period than other grass varieties, making it more attractive during the transition seasons.

Is TifTuf Hard to Maintain?

No grass is entirely maintenance-free. TifTuf’s natural resistance to disease, pests, and drought contributes to its ease of care. The grass is known for its relatively low maintenance requirements compared to other grass varieties. But regular mowing, watering, and proper fertilisation are still essential to keep TifTuf looking tip-top. Its robust nature makes it less demanding in terms of overall maintenance efforts.

TifTuf’s vigorous growth contributes to its ability to outcompete many weeds. Proper maintenance is still necessary, however, to ensure optimal health and appearance.

How Often Does TifTuf Need to Be Mowed?

The mowing frequency for TifTuf grass depends on several factors, including the desired height, growth rate, environmental conditions, sunny position, climate, soil type, and desired lawn appearance.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to mow TifTuf at a height of around 2.5 to 4 centimetres during the active growing season. Depending on the rate of growth, mowing will be required every 7 to 10 days. Infrequent mowing can result in a thatch buildup and reduced turf quality while mowing too short can stress the grass and make it more susceptible to weed invasion.

While you may need to mow more frequently during periods of rapid growth in warmer months, it’s recommended that you avoid removing more than one-third of the grass height in a single mowing session to maintain the health and vitality of the lawn.

How Much Water Does It Need?

TifTuf grass is known for its remarkable drought tolerance compared to many other turfgrass varieties. But like any living plant, it still requires adequate water to maintain its health and appearance. TifTuf benefits from deep, infrequent watering during its active growing season. The general rule of thumb is to provide one soaking per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. This encourages deep root growth and helps the grass withstand dry periods better. Adjust watering based on weather conditions and soil type to prevent overwatering or underwatering.

How Do You Fertilise TifTuf Grass?

Fertilisation is a crucial aspect of maintaining any healthy lawn and TifTuf is no different. Proper fertilisation provides essential nutrients that promote vigorous growth, strong roots, and vibrant colour. You should ideally conduct a soil test before applying fertilisers to determine the specific nutrient needs of your lawn.

TifTuf grass typically benefits from a balanced fertiliser with a nutrient ratio tailored to its requirements. A slow-release granular fertiliser applied during the active growing season, usually in spring and early summer, can help achieve optimal results. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application rates and frequency.

Here are the most important considerations to fertilise TifTuf grass effectively:

  • Soil Test: Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient levels and pH of your soil before applying any fertiliser. This will help you tailor your fertiliser application to the specific needs of your lawn.
  • Timing: TifTuf grass benefits from a balanced fertiliser application schedule. Apply fertiliser in late spring when the grass starts actively growing, and again in early summer. Avoid fertilising during the dormant winter months.
  • Fertiliser Selection: Choose a fertiliser with a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) suitable for Bermuda or Couch grasses. A ratio of 16-4-8 is often recommended.
  • Application Method: Use a spreader to evenly distribute the fertiliser across your lawn. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended application rate.
  • Watering After Application: Water your lawn immediately after fertilising to help the nutrients penetrate the soil and reach the grassroots. This will also minimise the risk of fertiliser burn.
  • Avoid Excessive Nitrogen: While nitrogen is essential for growth, excessive nitrogen can lead to uncontrolled top growth and increased mowing requirements. Balance is key.
  • Top-Dressing and Aeration: Depending on your lawn’s condition, you might consider top-dressing and aeration as part of your maintenance routine to improve soil structure and enhance nutrient uptake.

When is it not so good?

TifTuf Bermuda grass is an excellent all-round performer, however, if your yard is in a shady position, and you think the lawn may not get at least 4 hours of sunlight each day, then TifTuf will not do as well as a few other varieties, such as DNA Certified Sir Walter Buffalo. Bear in mind, no lawn can grow in less than 3 hours of sun per day.

TifTuf grass will brown off slightly in winter, particularly if you’re up in the frosty Southern Highlands, or there’s an unusually severe cold snap elsewhere in Sydney or Wollongong. But this is true for most grass varieties except cool-season varieties which don’t cope well with the Australian summer on the mainland. Understanding its unique characteristics and implementing the right maintenance practices will help you enjoy a beautiful and resilient lawn year-round.

So, is TifTuf good, or what?

TifTuf grass offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a resilient and visually appealing lawn. Its vital growth habit, extended colour retention, low maintenance requirements, drought tolerance, and adaptability to various soil types contribute to its attractiveness.

Creating a long-term successful lawn involves a combination of proper mowing, watering, fertilisation, and overall maintenance practices. Understanding your local climate, soil conditions, and the specific needs of TifTuf grass will empower you to create a healthy and vibrant lawn that adds beauty to your outdoor space throughout the year.

To know more about TifTuf grass, call us at 02 4651 0000. We will help you get started with your ideal lawn solution.