Grass/turf care and which one to use, couch or buffalo grass species?

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Grass/turf care and which one to use, couch or buffalo grass species?

Post  liquidg on 19th October 2016, 2:24 pm

When choosing a grass that best suits your needs, you need to understand which grasses, do what!

Couch for starters is a small leaf plant that needs intense sun and warmth to survive well!
The most common couch species, revolves around the name winter green, there are other couches including the popular blue couch, but winter green is the most popular couch grass!
Winter green is a hybrid, this means it was created from a mix of species to get a grass that produces no pollen, pollen is a strong allergen, that's why winter green was made in a laboratory as a low allergenic grass.
It also means there are no seeds to get winter green going, it can only be done via purchasing the turf or by purchasing stolons. these are torn apart pieces of winter green set into the soil to take off that way.
Winter green like most couch grasses can have  a root system quite deep compared to other grasses so this means they will grow under your garden edges and then appear in your garden.

Buffalo needs far less sun to thrive compared to couch making it a great shady spot grass.
Another popular grass being sir Walter buffalo, is not recommended for high sun areas!
It will grow extremely fast and also become painfully thick and hard to mow if in full sun.

Repairing lawns or preparing for your lawn
If laying turf, first up if the original soil is more so clay, spread some dolomite,!
Being of a strong lime content, that will help make the clay available for food for your grass above.
Clay is the pass dead animals and plant life from millions of years back, basically clay is the half way mark from life, to oil!
The lime is of positive ions and the clay is all negative ones, the limes positive ions separate's the clays and makes it useable to plants.

Next step is to put down a layer of maybe 25 mil of a heavy organic top dressing, more so a garden mix, this will ensure a slow release food source for your lawn via bacterial actions and worms.
Rake smooth then lay sheets or rolls of turf, then wet excessively and walk over the turfs joins then all of the turf.
The heavy organic soil underneath needs to become mud, so that when you roll it or walk it, the turf makes good contact with the soil underneath to get the air in between "out"! Or sections of the grass will die

To get your grass smoother, if it is of quite a rough terrain.
The low spots or dips need to be filled with a good form of inorganic material like sand, this will remain and fill in that pot hole or slight low spot and become permeated with a food source like rotting grass clippings or a good organic fertiliser!

We do all this with what's called top dressing, meaning to spread over the top of your grass.
The top dressing should be of around 60 percent semi medium sand  (inorganic) mixed with a fine particle (organic) matter, most landscape supplies places will be able to provide a good mix to purchase.
Keep the layer over your grass no thicker then 15 to 25 mill or the grass may be suffocated and water it each day for a week.

The time of year to top dress is important to be aware of, you see your grass feeds on mostly bi products from the nitrogen cycle in your cycle beneath the grass.
This cycle is similar to what happens in both fresh water and salt water aquariums, that being waste or something dead like tree/plant mulch or grass cuttings.
The bacteria in the soil takes the dead mater literally a part releasing all its make up of substances such as amino acids,magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, boron and many more along with the imbedded nitrogen that all plant life needs.

These mix with the water content, then gravity forces the ground water, now filed with nutrients via capillary actions, this simply explained means that if you have a 50 mil wide bottle and put in a pin prick hole at the bottom and put in a tube with a tiny inside diameter, the water will rise in that tube to as far a the tube is high, that's how trees and other plants achieve sap/fluid movement through out the plant.

When the soils temperature is below 18c, the cycle of dead mater to nitrogen is slow, and below 16c the cycle is becoming near non existent.
So from all this, the best time to top dress is from mid September, from then the soils cycling bacteria is winding up for its summer feeding of your grass.

This can be a bit hard to understand, but grass feeds best on dead grass and most any other plant life once that plant life is dead and decaying, which is the start of the feeding cycle that bacteria achieves for all plants, not just grass!

If wanting to use an artificial fertiliser like the old faithful crop king 88, then these are great to keep grass/plants powering in the cooler months, these don't overly need the cycle to feed your grass/plants.
Be aware that the artificial fertilisers are of a largish ammonia content called Ammonium nitrate, they are the white granules in the mix and if applied a little too much, then your grass will be burnt by the occurring ammonia, it wont die it just needs time to make new foliage, plus never put artificial fertilisers under turf, it may kill the turf!

When top dressing
Spread via a rake with a flat edge on the back, that will smooth top dressing better.
A few pics of the results of top dressing with 40 percent sand and 60 percent organics.
Top dressing results up the top of the pic is the first area to be top dressed showing a green coverage, down to the freshly added top dressing and that grass is picking up.
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The sickly winter green before adding organics
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The same winter green two weeks after top dressing.
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