RESCUE YOUR DODGY LAWN
NOW THAT THE RAIN IS UPON US, YOUR GRASS AND PLANTS MAY NEED A LITTLE BIT OF EXTRA CARE
If you are a few kilos heavier after a Christmas and new year binge, imagine how a few trees around the place feel after a hit of big regular rain. After having divested themselves of every unnecessary leaf before Christmas to deal with their own water conservation program, the glut of rain and humidity has added a few kilos to just about every tree and canopies are again shady and full.
In despair, I was just about to call for a chainsaw a few weeks ago to put a few trees out of their misery as they dropped their leaves to “just ticking over mode”. But now, whoosh!
Like the brown crisp and crunchy cornflake lawns at the same time, these too have been like someone has switched from black and white to colour.
This at least verifies the information that you can forget about a brown lawn.
Having said that, often the lawn is damaged and has bald or thinning patches that need repair. Top dressing at least is a good idea. Getting hold of some mill mud would be terrific as a thin raking over the top of the lawn – no more than 1cm will give some organic matter back to the top of the profile. Check your raw materials supplier. A light sandy loam will also do the trick. Others may need a good forking to aerate the soil. As the weight of rain and water, vehicles or pedestrians slowly compact the lawn’s soil, the compaction inhibits spaces for oxygen, which is also essential. A garden fork on the end of a boot poked into the soil every 300mm and to about 100mm deep will also help.
Often a fine skim of clean river sand over the top will also help with boggy lawns.
Other garden features such as beds will probably need some more mulch or, in some cases, less. Too much mulch is never enough, as they say, but as it gets thicker it often has dry spots within and water actually runs off.
Some mulches work better than others. In fact, lightly turning the mulch with a fork is also useful for aeration and worm food.
If you don’t have a garden bed take a look at your pots. The soil in these often “slumps” and compacts on itself or has worms which are not encouraged, as they collapse the texture to a mud and bog the plant down.
A repotting of some favourite specimens would work with more organic matter (chicken, cow, pig etc) as an addition.
Then it’s back to the banquet that is life. Happy New Year.