– Lawns perfect for playing on!
A perfectly groomed lush, green lawn sets the tone of a garden, and most gardeners are prepared to spend a lot of money on fertilizer, herbicides and water to achieve this. However, it is possible to have a lovely green organic lawn without an expensive maintenance program, and most important is that we should all enjoy the pleasures of a healthy lawn and garden so that we, our kids, friends, pets and the natural garden life can frolic and flourish without the risk of contamination of toxic lawn care chemicals
The Key to Success is
HEALTHY, FERTILE SOIL
- Your initial mind-shift is to think of lawn as a living creature
- Realize that lawn is a very heavy feeder
- Create a living Soil to provide the lawn plants with a wide range of nutrients
- Allow their root system to grow deep into a rich soil
- Ensure dense leaf growth to, shade the soil surface and roots, to reduce loss of moisture, prevent germination of weed seeds, and soil erosion.
Some LAWN types are:
BUFFALO: An indigenous grass which grows easily. Tolerates shade, salt water spray and will grow in sandy soil. It does not require frequent cutting, is water-wise, but does not tolerate frost and is dormant in winter.
KIKUYU: A popular grass as it is a fast grower, stays green in winter in frost free areas, requires little attention besides good soil conditioning. Can be very invasive in high rainfall areas.
COMMON COUCH (KWEEK): A popular lawn grass, is a fine bladed indigenous grass, which is hardy and takes wear. It needs to grow in full sun, and easily grown in most soil types. It is brown and dormant in winter. It can become invasive.
FLORIDA, SKAAPPLAAS & ROYAL CAPE: These are varieties of couch grass indigenous to parts of the country. They are fine bladed, drought tolerant and some are frost tolerant. Often used on bowling greens.
SWAZI: Indigenous, coarse leaf blade. Grows well in poor soil, requires little maintenance. It will brown off in dry summer months, but recovers quickly with rain. It is sensitive to frost and dormant through winter.
How to: Plant a new Organic lawn:
STEP 1: Prepare soil by digging to loosen compact soil, and remove stones, shrubs, weeds or building rubble in topsoil
STEP 2: Condition soil by spreading 250ml – 500ml FERTILIS and 200ml dolomitic lime onto soil for every 1m², then till into soil and rake to a perfect level surface
STEP 3: Sprinkle 100g per m² of Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) for strong and healthy roots.
STEP 4: Place roll-on lawn, or plant lawn plugs. For planting lawn seeds spread over surface as directed on seed packet. Spread a thin layer of topsoil over seed just to cover
STEP 5: Water immediately, and daily to prevent drying and until seeds have germinated and roots have established. Thereafter adjust watering to climatic conditions
How to: Convert an established lawn to Organic:
STEP 1: If soil under lawn is compacted or contains building rubble, dig up the worst parts to refresh soil and replant. If a dry ‘thatch’ has built up, remove it by raking it gently without creating bare patches. If lawn is not in a bad condition, aerate soil with a garden fork for small area, or lawn aerating roller for extensive areas
STEP 2: If lawn is weed ridden, try to remove weeds by hand. As weeds grow best in acid or compacted soils often caused by using chemical fertilizers, avoid the use of herbicides by adjusting the soil’s pH level by dusting soil with Agricultural (Dolomitic) lime at 30ml per m² and repeat application after 3 months until weeds die out.
STEP 3: Improve Soil Structure by applying top-dressing as follows: FOR HEAVY CLAY OR SANDY SOILS: Mix 3 parts lawn dressing or fine compost to every 1 part FERTILIS Earthworm Castings. Per m² area spread, spread at a rate of 2Litres, and then sprinkle 100g Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) organic fertilizer.
STEP 4: Water well and regularly in Spring & Summer. Ensure leaves dry off before nightfall to prevent fungal disease from developing.
STEP 5: Fertilize with Vita Green 5:1:5(16) organic fertilizer every 4 to 5 months at 100g per m² to maintain a stunning green and healthy lawn, good enough to play on!
TIPS TO TRY: Create an indigenous low maintenance lawn for biodiversity and a “FREE SPIRITED & NATURAL FEEL” by sowing indigenous annual flower and natural grass seeds into an existing lawn that needs a revamp!