How to get that perfect lawn; how to make women happy and all those other difficult questions answered.

Ah, the challenge of keeping your grass in top notch condition all year round… Those wily green-haired rascals have a way of proving even the most skilled gardener a fool at times. So, what’s the secret?

Soil!

Oh Lawdy, this is fried chicken and the potato salad! The biceps and the pecks! It’s a marriage made in heaven. Focus on this, and the rest will fall into place.

If you are not sure what type of soil you have, take a soil sample to a garden centre or nursery for testing and recommendations as to what can be added to find that right balance.

Water

This depends on time of year, time of day, type of soil, which political party is in charge and the type of grass.

Hotter months require more frequent watering vs cooler months. Be sure to water early morning in winter to rinse off the frost. Midday is never ideal winter or summer.

Type of soil- sandy soil is a thirsty soil, whereas clay soil is its more gluttonous sibling. Find that balance by adding bone meal, lime etc. There are products out there to fix all manner of horticultural problems and there are skilled resources available to help guide you. Don’t try figure it out by yourself.
Type of grass – shallow root systems require more frequent watering for shorter periods. The opposite is true for deeper root system grasses. A good soaking is always good for more common varieties like kikuyu grass.

The Beauty Treatment

In ladies terms this is the makeover. It’s the haircut; the facial and the clothes.

Lawn is like hair, soft is good and ‘kris’ bad. Don’t cut your lawn too short as this damages the roots and also contributes to patchiness.

The facial – those dry brown patches need some exfoliation which is referred to as scarifying. Take a rake and break the roots up and remove dead grass from these dry patches. Follow this by aerating the soil – poke holes with a gardening fork. Then add the fertilizer.

The clothes – This is a combo of lawn dressing and fertilizer. Fertilizer should have a higher concentration of nitrogen which makes grass green and happy. Speak to your local nursery as to what is the best fertilizer for your lawn considering sun exposure, proximity to trees; water needs and type of soil. Don’t over-fertilize. Apply to a dry lawn and then water, not the other way around.

Why add lawn dressing? Most importantly lawn, like all other plants, requires organic matter as a food source. Lawn dressing gives all the oomph back into the grass that the elements take away over time. It’s a mixture of weed-free soil used for leveling and fine compost. Ideally do this twice a year at the start of spring and autumn.

Finally, back to that first question of making women happy.

That’s easy, love and attention, just like your lawn.