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1770 posts

Uber Geek


  # 384530 26-Sep-2010 13:51
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If I was starting again (and I may yet) I would import some kikuyu lawn seed from aussie. It is made by PGG I think but they don't sell it here that I've found.
I'm convinced kikuyu is the environmentally correct choice! No watering, weeding or fertiliser required. Very hard wearing, self repairing.
Just need a sturdy trimmer to keep the edges in check. Cool

Edit: looks like you can get it as seed in NZ now:

Icky kikuyu !! It's like fibreglass on bare skin - can cause a rash-like effect on unprotected skin - a couple of backyard footy matches with the kids will have em complaining of the "itchies".

not to mention the ever-encroaching suckers that sprout up in the vege and garden beds - and has been known to crack concrete. And looks crappy after you mow it down - all white circles. Admittedly it does recover quickly....

In Oz, I used a "blue buffalo" (?) type ready lawn, quite hardy, like a much finer version of kikuyu. However, applying ready lawn directly over a clay base was not a good idea ( it was their recommendation). The idea was that the grass roots would eventually penetrate the clay. I was forever fertilising and applying a sand / soil oversow mix to get the humus levels up to stop the damn grass dying off over summer - during the "no water' season.

We could be seeing the same water restrictions here in NZ soon enough - I can't believe the amount of fresh water we just  flush away every day, in the urban areas anyway.

Ready lawn only comes with about 1 inch of actual soil, nowhere near enough to sustain through the dry season.

Next time around, if I was using ready lawn, a good inch or two of garden topsoil with slow release fertiliser and water crystals over the clay base, prior to applying ready lawn would be the ideal scenario.

Or green concrete :-)

Edit: buffalo grass is a "notified pest" in NZ.

Alternative is "couch". Again, hard wearing, and drought tolerant.

My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government

Cloud Guru
4060 posts

Uber Geek


  # 384606 26-Sep-2010 18:10
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Con:Did you end up installing a brivis ?

Yep, just in time for summer, although there was a slight cold snap afterwards.  Got Glenn to install it and was done pretty quick.


127 posts

Master Geek

  # 384687 26-Sep-2010 21:52
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Just for information from t'other side of the world, is readylawn what we Brits know as turf?

Here in the UK the preparation for laying turf or sowing seed is pretty much the same - you need a good flat base of finely raked topsoil with plenty of nutrients incorporated which stands for a few weeks to settle and also to give you a change to spray any weeds which stick their heads up.

Laying turf is quicker but it is much harder to get a really smooth result - you need the turf to be cut inch perfect for it to lay flat.
Turf also has to work a bit harder to get the roots down (you need really thin turf for it to establish quickly) and it is prone to drying out and shrinking which then gives you lots of seams to fill with topsoil and grass seed.
Turf is much better if you have to lay it in the summer, as long as you can water it regularly.

Good seed in a well prepared bed sown in spring or autumn will usually give you a better and cheaper result, although you will have to protect the area for about six weeks until the seed has germinated and established.
Once established you are more likely to get an even lawn, and there aren't any seams to shrink.
More of a labour of love, though.

With either method, you then have aftercare.
You need to make sure that you treat the lawn well, probably weed'n'feed spring and autums and keep it cut regularly (but not tooshort).

The site needs to be sunny (constant shade is not good for a lawn) and the soil needs to be well drained  and fertile otherwise mosses can compete too well with the lawn.

Please note that if you have a scruffy lawn with a lot of bare patches it is usually easier to heal the lawn than lay a fresh one (and if you lay a fresh one it will only get to resemble you current lawn unless you change the way you treat it).

If you weed and feed the lawn to clear the weeds and perk up the remaining grass, then after a few weeks you sow a mixture of topsoil, sand and seed in all the bare patches the lawn will quickly repair itself with a fraction of the cost and effort of laying a new lawn.

Then you have to be nice to your lawn so it will be nice to you :-)



P.S. for those of you old enough to remember Usenet thee is a good NG 'uk.rec.gardening' where questions like this can be comprehensively answered.

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