Archive for the ‘grasses’ Category

lawns

If your lawn has developed some dry spots, try raking in an organic compost or fine bark to protect the soil and hold in moisture. Water frequently during the day for a week or two until you start to see new green growth. Cut back on the watering gradually, but be consistent until the lawn is once again green in the spot.

A late summer garden may seem to have gone to sleep, but its pretty easy to throw a big basket of water on it and wake it back up. (Both literally, and figuratively!) Use these easy and cheap gardening tips to renew your garden, and have a beautiful spot to spend those quiet autumn afternoons.


DIY: Simple Steps to a Beautiful and Lush Lawn

DIY – Simple steps to a beautiful verdant lawn

These are some tips to get you started:
Aeration –  Your lawn needs to breathe properly, so begin with remove the debris from the lawn once done then aerate your lawn with a lawn aerator or you can also do this with a garden fork.
Some people just seed bare areas in their lawn, but it is a good idea to give your lawn an all over seeding to promote new grass growth. This is called over-seeding. Select the type of grass that is right for your lawn. If your lawn is mostly shady, choose a grass seed that works with shady lawns.  There are also shady/sun mixtures out there for those lawns that have a mixture of both. Sprinkle your lawn with a dose of water to wet the leaves and then fertilize it.
It is important to follow the directions on the fertilizer bag regarding the number your spreader should be on. If too much fertilizer is put down, you will end up burning your lawn and not feeding it as you intend to. I use alternative methods ie epsom salts. Tip – fertilize  a dry lawn and then water well afterwards. Be sure to keep the seeds moist by watering appropriately. If they dry out, they will not grow.
The next important step to a beautiful lawn is to water your lawn appropriately. Too often people either over or under water their lawns. Over-watering promotes weed growth. The key to a lush lawn is to water it well when you do but to allow several days pass before watering it again. This will allow the roots to deepen. Too many frequent light waterings will promote shallow root growth, resulting in grass that is easily pulled up and not healthy. In the heat of summer, always water in early morning hours to prevent the grass from burning. Water the lawn long enough so that there it gets between 2-4 inches of water at a time.
The other thing that people often do not do correctly is mowing. Too often we think the grass should be mowed short. Longer grass blades will allow more sunlight to penetrate which promotes deeper root systems and you will have fewer pest problems. Keep the blades between 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches long.If you follow these steps, you are sure to have a thick and green lawn which will add much appeal to your home.

September ‘wildness’ in the Garden route

September-fynbos-1

September-fynbos-cancer-bush

September-fynbos

September-fynbos-grasses

September-fynbos-mix

Fygiesour-fig


Types of Ornamental Grasses

Grasses can be used in the landscape just like perennials, but their usefulness extends far beyond that of a normal perennial. Grasses are useful for erosion control, space barriers, wildlife shelters, winter interest, as a background to flowering plants, and as architectural features, to name a few.

Zebra Grass
Zebra grass gets its name from the striking green and gold bands that adorn its blades. Zebra grass grows to an approximate height of 7 feet and a width between three and 5 feet in diameter. Zebra grass makes a great addition to any style of garden or landscape, and is very striking when planted alone. Consider planting Zebra Grass in a sunny location on your property.

Cape thatching reed
or Dakriet (in Afrikaans), is a member of the restio family, Restionaceae It is a tufted perennial growing to between 1.5 and 2.25 m, with deciduous leaf sheaths. Flowers are less than 3 mm long. Petals are smooth or hairy in the upper half. Chondropetalum are found in marshes and seeps on deep sand in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape of South Africa. Plants are tender a need and sheltered, well-drained spot in full sun to grow well. In the UK plants are not reliably hardy and should be grown in pots and taken into the shelter of a cool greenhouse. Water well during the growing season but keep plants on the dry side during the winter months. Remove any old shoots as they turn brown and wither but avoid any other trimming.
A bundle or sheath, after it is cut with a sickle is held by the top, and all the shorter stalks that are loose in it, are shaken off from it. The remaining long ones are then spread out in rows to dry, and afterwards tied up in bundles. With this the houses are commonly thatched both in town and in country; and sometimes whole huts are built with it. A roof made of it lasts 20 or 30 years, and would last much longer if the south east wind did not blow a great deal of dirt between the thatch, in consequence of which it rots the sooner.

—Carl Peter Thunberg, Travels at the Cape of Good Hope, 1772-1775

Maiden Grass
This variety of ornamental grass reaches a height of about 6 feet, and it will spread to a diameter of about 5 feet.
This elegantly shaped grass has narrow leaves with white mid-ribs and a vase-like form to 6 feet tall. It shows bronze autumn color and can stand throughout winter to provide architectural interest. Tassel-like inflorescences appear in fall and can be used as cut or dried flowers.
Adaptable, but best in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Does not tolerate excessive winter moisture. Cut to the ground by early spring. Needs space to grow.
Propagation: Sow seed in a cold frame in spring. Divide young plants in spring (older plants are difficult to divide). Pot on divisions or grow seedlings in a cold frame until established.
Problems: Infrequent.

Birds eat the abundant seeds provided by this ornamental grass, and they make nests from the sturdy blades of grass. Birds have even been known to nest within the safety of lush perennial fountain grass. Perennial fountain grass is one of the fastest types of ornamental grass, and it reaches a maximum height of approximately 4 feet and a width of about 3 feet. This ornamental grass is ideal in locations where taller or fuller ornamental grass would be inappropriate, and it does very well when potted.

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