Welcome to my website. This website handles the overflow from 'Growing Ornamental Plants'. Both sites show how I select and grow ornamental plants which can cope with extremely hot and dry conditions in summer, and I show how I use water saving methods to achieve this.............John Ashworth 26th December 2015.
Growing a New Lawn
Latest Update 6th October 2016.
Growing a new lawn.
The lawn above is about9 months old, and was started from pre-grown turf supplied inrolls. It has flourished during the colder months and has not been watered for about 5 months.
day of delivery was a hot 31 deg C, and with more hot weather to come,
it was important to soak the turf and get it down before it got too dry.
The turf had traveled about 130km from Seymour in central Victoria to where I live so it was already very dry and needed plenty of water to help it recover.
Setting out the lawn.
This is the area set aside for ournew lawn. I had neglected this part of our garden for some time, as I needed a holding area for soil when building my Ecobeds in the back yard.
This photo shows the raised bed being constructed and pavers about to be laid as a mowing edge around the lawn. The lawn area is full of weeds and the soil higher than required, so some of it was removed and used to fill the raised beds.
Preparing the soil.
The lawn area was cleared of topsoil and weeds and dug to about 300mm deep to encourage new roots to
penetrate as far into the subsoil as possible.
The subsoil is heavy clay, so I had to dig the area 3 times before the soil reached an acceptable tilth in which to grow a lawn.
Fitting the irrigation system.
I installed a
drip line irrigation system equipped with a simple manual timer and used
purpose made drip line capable of operating under turf without getting blocked.
set 7 drip lines 500mm apart to minimise water use, and hopefully
comply with future regulations when the next prolonged drought hits us.
8 wheelbarrow loads of homemade compostand 8 bags of aged cow manure
were mixed and spread between the irrigation lines. This stage was vital in view of the condition of the soil, and I covered the bed with shadecloth to reduce evaporation and protect microbial activity from the sun. I then watered the bed daily for a week using the drip irrigation for an hour every evening.
When the rolls of turf arrived they were soaked with water and the roots sprayed with aerated compost tea. The shadecloth was removed and the turf laid quickly at 90 degrees to the drip lines.
The lawn was wateredfrom above with a sprinkler system for 2 hours and covered with shadecloth to reduce evaporation.
Watering continued for 3 days using the irrigation system for an hour every evening.
The shade cloth was removed and lawn watering gradually reducedto come into line with the watering rate used elsewhere in the garden. (1 hour every 4 days in summer and a little more when the weather is very hot).
Once fully established, I expect the lawn to cope with a 1 hour drink once a weekduring the growing season.
Binomial name: Stenotaphrum secundatum.
Classification: Soft Broad Leaf Lawn.
Variety: Sir Walter.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigated lawn.
Recommended soil pH: 5.5-6.5
Climate: Warm Temperate.
Geography: Southern Hemisphere.
grass is drought resistant, hard wearing and stays green in summer when
other varieties dry out and turn yellow or even brown. It likes full
sun but will tolerate light shade.
Water deeply and infrequently in dry and hot weather. No more than once a week once established.
Propagating new plants.
They can be propagated from runners. Sir Walter Buffalo grass is only moderately invasive, but it is self repairing if damaged.
You can cut
small sections of grass from the thickest part of your lawn to repair
bald spots. They will quickly establish and spread.
One of the advantages
of buffalo grass in a hot dry climate is that it insulates the soil from
heat and keeps evaporation low by maintaining a layer of runners above
the soil from which the broad leafed grass shoots.
Once the roots get deep down into the soil, I expect water consumption even in hot weather to be similar to wicking beds, and to be able to reduce irrigation to 1 hr a week.
Every 3 months apply
a 9 litre bucket full of sieved home made compost or pelletised organic lawn food to the surface of the lawn, and work it into the tangle of runnerswhich support the leafy green grass above.Water it in well.
I like to apply 30 ltres of active aerated compost tea using a watering can to the lawn every month during the growing season.
can be damaged by setting lawn mowers too low. Care must be taken
not to damage the lawn's structure.
Organic Pest Control.
applications of aerated compost tea boost the natural defenses of
grass by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
They also defend the grass against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil treatment including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the roots of the grass against plant pathogens.
Maintaining good growth is the best way to control weeds without using chemical hebicides.