Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Changing Landscape: The Lawn

I've been looking through my photo collection documenting progress on the house and garden and was struck by the evolution and changes over the last few years. We moved into the house in February 07 with all the major construction completed but a bit of the finishing still to be done, an ongoing process attended to as time and money permit.


 Landscaping at that stage had not really been started, apart from some rough shaping of the block, a small veggie patch and lots of plants in pots. Although there was no formal plan for the garden we did have an idea of what was needed. The garden had to be water-wise first and foremost, provide a climate for the house, a habitat for the birds and bees and other creepy-crawlies, a bit of stuff for us to eat and look nice enough to keep us on-side with the tidy- town folk.

I have lots of pic's of the progress on the house and garden, way too many for one post so I thought I would start with the lawn.

Since we don't have a lot of spare water to throw round and I'm not to keen on pushing a lawn mower or spending the money on fuel we only have a small one (about 60sq metres). Small it may be but it is particularly nice as lawns go. ;-)


I'm proud of my lawn, but it did take some work, lot's of digging. The soil we have on our block is mostly clay, hard as rock when it's dry and sticky as toffee when wet. To get a workable soil I scrounged around the neighbourhood collecting leaves and lawn clippings from anyone who had some spare. This was all dug in along with trailer loads of horse manure from the local stables. I dug and rotary hoed that patch about five times before I was happy with it. The first attempt at a lawn was a native grass that I thought would be drought tolerant and hardy but it became infested with couch and ended up a total failure. So it got rounded up and dug over again, more horse poo and a mulch crop to finish it off.


After a bit of research I settled on buffalo as a good prospect for our area and purchased a few rolls of turf from a local supplier. This was chopped into small squares and planted out willie nilly over the levelled area, anyone who asked about the planting system was told I was setting up for lawn chess.


So far it has been a total success, thick enough to suppress any weed growth it requires virtually no more water than it gets from the rain we get from time to time over the summer. I try to time my mowing runs to just before we get a rain event and always use a high setting so it' stays around 75mm deep all the time. Worked like that it retains good moisture at it's base and is soft and cool to walk on. Any visiting kids love it and spend ages laying and rolling around on it.


It goes dormant in the winter and requires no mowing until spring. That's when I give it a good scalping and hit it with a bit of dynamic lifter, work it over with a fork for aeration so it's good to go for the summer. Although I'm not a great fan of lawns I am happy enough with this one and the neighbors are impressed enough to keep requesting the runners I cut off from the garden edges.

3 comments:

Daniel October 8, 2010 at 8:42 PM  

It's pleasing and are great for the environment.

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Ramsey October 13, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

Amazing progress!
It is always fantastic to see how things have changed over time. Hang in there with the shed it won't be long and you will be able to put that tek driver away.

Daniel November 8, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

Thank you so much for sharing it.
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