Establish a beautiful lawn
Buying a brand new home more often than not means planning a garden from scratch. But where do you start when starting a new garden. Apart from putting together a plan of what you want in the garden, establishing a lawn area is the first step towards that perfect garden you want.
If you have decided you want an expanse of lush lawn in the garden, you need to get cracking if you are starting from seed. Instant lawn has its advantages, but more often than not Kikuyu Grass is all you get and not always suitable for every garden.
Not all gardens have the luxury of sun throughout the day. Neighbouring buildings, overhanging trees or structures all determine where and how much sun a garden is likely to get. So let's take a look at the various grasses available locally.
Buffalo Grass - Great for coastal and vacation homes
This hardy grass is a popular choice for lawn as it requires little attention and grows in sun and partial shade, and for the fact that Buffalo Grass grows well in poor soil conditions. Indigenous to the Western and Eastern parts of the country, Buffalo Grass is a slow but strong lawn that needs a fair amount of water, but not as much as other cultivars. This type of grass is recommended for coastal regions that receive regular rainfall.
Kikuyu Grass - Ideal for a family home
Extremely fast growing, Kikuyu Grass has the ability to recover quickly from damage, which makes it ideal for family homes. It is this that makes it popular for lawns around the country. It has a soft texture that make a wonderful playground for children.
However, Kikuyu Grass does have its cons and these include the fact that this grass doesn't like semi-shade conditions and requires more water than most other grass cultivars.
Berea Grass - Perfect for a partially shady garden
Combine the benefits of Buffalo and Kikuyu and you have Berea Grass. This slower growing grass cultivar is able to recover from damage reason-ably fast and can take a fair amount of semi-shade.
The root system, which grows as side runners, extends anywhere from 5 to 8 metres. This means that a shady spot will still have enough sunlight - via runners - for the photosynthesis necessary for a healthy lawn.
This type of lawn is more expensive to establish, but offers the long term benefits of a soft texture, durability, easy care and maintenance,
Paspalum - All round grass for sunny gardens
This soft textured, short-growing grass cultivar is populary used for golf courses and sports fields.
It's hardy and able to take a beating, plus it doesn't require as much watering as other grass cultivars.
However, it does require full sun thoughout the day, so not for planting in a semi-shade garden.
Sowing the seeds for a lush lawn
Whatever grass species you decide upon, it is essential to undertake some preparation in advance of planting if you want to ensure quick growth and a healthy lawn.
Remove any rubble, weeds and large stones from the area, dig in organic fertiliser and then level the area with the back of a rake.
Sow seed, plant runners or plugs according to the manufacturer or growers instructions. Late winter/early autumn - after any chance of frost - is the best time to sow or plant and allow young seelings to establish themselves for healthy growth.
After sowing seed or planting, regular watering and weeding needs to be done, as well as adding fertilizer as recommended by the seed manufacturer.
It takes around 5 to 6 months to establish a lawn from seed and 3 to 4 months if you plant plugs or runners. During this period constant attention is required to watering and feeding to ensure a healthy lawn.
The faster alternative is to have a contractor lay down instant lawn, but be prepared to spend more. At the end of the day your goal is to have a beautiful lawn that enhances not only the look of your home, but also the value.