With the summer holidays fast approaching the lawn becomes more than the grassy area between the house and the garden. Being the only flat area of land we actually have, it is quite useful. It started out flat and grassy before the house. And to be honest it stayed that way until I created the garden. I needed to remove a good layer of earth from the site of the garden to remove all trace of the kikuyu grass that holds the sand in place around here. So, with the help of a bulldozer, the garden was stripped and smoothed out to give a level, but slightly sloping blank canvas for my garden.
This didn’t help the poor back lawn, that suddenly found itself mountainous with great mounds of earth across it. We couldn’t leave it like that and so the kikuyu filled soil was spread flat to define the area that would be our lawn. Although it was no longer a grassy former paddock but a flattened sand dune ready to whisk sand about the place in the strong westerly that likes to make itself felt about here.
Fortunately, Kikuyu is a determine grass and soon found the surface and began to return the area at the back of the house to a field of green. Although we did have to resort to grass seed for some areas that just didn’t seem to want to revegetate naturally. It felt so weird to be freely scattering seed for a grass I was determined to keep out of the garden, separated only by a fence! But it is the right kind of grass for here. I just need to be extra vigilant to keep it out of the garden.
Approaching the summer, the lawn no longer looked patchy and was a lush green vista. Although on closer inspection it would seem that not all of the green was good. As it was a former pasture and the ground wasn’t prepared as thoroughly for the new lawn as if could have been, a lot of the green was weeds. I’m not normally house proud for my lawn – I don’t have the time, what with taking care of the garden and all that entails. The last place had a reclaimed paddock for a lawn and that was just fine. However, as I was kind of responsible for its initial demise and restoring it back to what it was, I have a vested interested to make sure it is healthy.
So, before the height of summer when the grass was still actively growing I decided to give it some love in the form of a Yates Weed n Feed. This most commonly comes in an easy to apply liquid state, however with the garden so close – separated only by a fence, I would need to wait for one of those perfectly rare super still days to ensure the weed part of the Weed n Feed didn’t drift beyond its boundaries. These conditions were highly unlikely in the turbulent season we’ve been having. Fortunately, this great lawn product also comes in a granular form so it much safer for using so close to my precious garden.
To reduce the risk even further I was able to use my new GARDENA Spreader L, that I had been given quite some time ago but was waiting for the right conditions. As the granular Weed n Feed is delivered just centimetres from the ground it is much less likely to end up in the garden, than being flung about at elbow height from a gloved hand. The great thing about the spreader was I was able to adjust the settings to suit the size of the granules and the control the amount that was released from the hopper. The best feature was there is an open / close bar controlled from the handle, so every time I had to stop I could easily stop the release of the Weed n Feed and prevent it from spilling out in excess on the lawn and wasting it. And it was kind of fun walking up and down the lawn in rows knowing just the right amount was being delivered.
Reading the instructions on the bag did warn me that the lawn may go black, so it didn’t come as a shock when large swathes of weedy lawn curled up its toes and died leaving blacken carcasses in the lawn within hours of application. A couple of days later after a good watering the dead plants began the fade away and the ‘feed’ part of the product kicked in and the grass started to green up and slowly but surely fill the spaces left behind.
I may need to do it again, as it was a pasture and the old adage one year’s seed is seven years weeds, and so they will be back. But it was such an easy process combining the spreader and the granular product, that one day soon I will be able to lay claim to a most magnificent lush and weed free lawn.
And so now as we go into summer with a respectable lawn, it will become a place for entertaining with a blanket spread across it for picnics held in the lee of the house away from the westerly wind, a sports field for backyard cricket and backyard tennis. Although I’m not sure about the possibility of tents pitched upon it when friends come to stay, and the house is full to brimming. But at least it looks good now.
Come again soon – Christmas is coming!
Sarah the Gardener : o)