New Decade, New Decadence...

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
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874
Location
Cambridgeshire
Just to put the lawn thing in context, I hate lawns...


However... Have this neighbour who just can’t keep his opinion to himself. I was watering the lawn with a watering can in the middle of the day when we first moved here and bugalugs wanders over and starts delivering a sermon about how I’m wasting water... I should just stop... look over yonder to be amazed as his lawn is beautiful and he only ever waters in the morning.... He basically uses one of those fertiliser dispensers you walk with and rains down a ton of Westland after cut and drowns his lawn daily in the morning during the summer.



I just smile, nod in agreement, give off an ‘okay then...’ and he wanders off back to smug-ville.



Anyway... long story short the hot weather rolls in and every lawn on this street turns yellow and our’s doesn’t. Gave him something to think about I guess.


Only thing I do is water in the middle of the day whilst the grass is uptaking with some rainwater and micros in it. Usually before any hot spell or every forty days during the summer. The happy lawn is a bi-product, the fact that bugalugs is gonna have to be humble, stop lecturing people and ask someone else a question for once if he wants to know ‘the secret’ is the real prize.



He uses a £500 mower and I use a crappy second hand rusted manual mower as well which must blow his mind 😂


In a nutshell I’m not a big enough man to let it go, so the lawn gets micro rain every month or so during the summer now.



Established lawns shouldn’t really need feeding but some iron and other micros as a foliar feed help with drought tolerance, unless you have a more temperate grass species that goes dormant in the heat anyway regardless. Just like in tanks too much phosphate can mess with iron uptake on your lawn and quite frankly, I think lawn feeds are way too aggressive with N-P-K and just cause more mowing, not healthy grass.


I like lawns with clover mixed in, that stuff never drys out, is green all year and requires no maintenance. Anyhow, with successive years the weeds don’t get a look in anymore and the kids trampling the grass has toughened it up and encouraged good sideways spreading, no roller required. So we’re down to mowing once in a while as grass doesn’t grow too quickly and a spray once in a while with no weeding - easy lawn life.
 

SRP3006

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Joined
18 Feb 2019
Messages
433
Location
GB
I like lawns with clover mixed in, that stuff never drys out, is green all year and requires no maintenance.

I added clover or green manure to my lawn a few years ago, got fed up with looking at dead patches of grass and it did improve things but as you say isn't trample resistant. Also when it flowers it brings all those beneficial insects to my garden to keep the 'bad' ones off my kale, cucumbers and fruit.
 

CooKieS

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Joined
19 Jan 2016
Messages
1,744
Location
France
Lawn rage. It's real.
Hahahaha thanks for the laughs , it’s the case here in France too, My neighborhood are crazy, one has even spend thousands euros to remake it every year :lol:

I don’t care as much about mine which is an mess for now but I’m grateful for the tips @Geoffrey Rea as I need to get it healthier this fall, for the challenge :lol:
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
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10,452
Location
nr Bath

Geoffrey Rea

Member
Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
874
Location
Cambridgeshire
How many grams of micro per litre of water do you use?
You're gonna hate me @hypnogogia but I eyeball stuff like this. Aiming for a 1/3 to 1/2 a teaspoon of the equivalent of APF’s trace mix per 10l of water and just walking backwards slowly with a fine rose watering can. Not sure it really matters with micros though.

AstroTurf looks so realistic nowadays! 😃
AstroTurf has never looked realistic 😂

I need to get it healthier this fall, for the challenge :lol:
You’ll start your own lawn wars @CooKieS

The other war around here is over car parking... Let’s not go there.

I've tried, I've spent 25 years trying to reduce the nutrients in the lawn, but the lady who had the house before us had <"three dogs and they have "permanently" ruined the lawn">.
It’s the same at my parents house. Previous owners had multiple dogs and their lawn is a mixed bag regardless of what they do. Bees love it though and the diversity is more relaxing to look at quite frankly.

Personally I hate uniformity and straight lines but the other half does not. Just looks barren to me when it’s a monoculture but to each their own. I can’t moan though, she has said nowt about all the tanks over the years so her garden wishes get a free pass.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,452
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Previous owners had multiple dogs and their lawn is a mixed bag regardless of what they do. Bees love it though and the diversity is more relaxing to look at quite frankly.
That was what I wanted, but the grass just grows too well. My guess is that it is a phosphorus effect, the soluble macronutrients (N & K) will have depleted, but the soil is a limy clay and <"elevated phosphorus is now present on a geological timescale"> .

Down the road from us they haven't mowed their front lawn, and it is full of flowers, including a Bee Orchid. It looks just like a limestone down, the grass is still short and there are a lot more flowers than grass.

cheers Darrel
 

Geoffrey Rea

Member
Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
874
Location
Cambridgeshire
That was what I wanted, but the grass just grows too well. My guess is that it is a phosphorus effect, the soluble macronutrients (N & K) will have depleted, but the soil is a limy clay and <"elevated phosphorus is now present on a geological timescale"> .

Down the road from us they haven't mowed their front lawn, and it is full of flowers, including a Bee Orchid. It looks just like a limestone down, the grass is still short and there are a lot more flowers than grass.
Two feet down on this property you hit boulder clay which is typical in the higher elevations around the Ouse valley in pockets. Stuff is an impenetrable layer devoid of life from what I’ve seen, even the rose bushes roots were shallow. The top soil above this is largely builders debris and was pretty poor top soil severely lacking in organic matter when we moved in. Weeds loved the boarders but planting the boarders up with flowers resulted in very fast growth then perishing very early in the season. I think the previous owners fertilised and watered heavily so it’s also likely the ground around the boarders here was poisoned by phosphate buildup as well.

The arid conditions in Cambridgeshire make controlling moisture and preventing the leaching out of N and K a very reasonable prospect. I think you mentioned the other day @dw1305 that Cambridgeshire receives the same average rainfall as Jerusalem. Certainly feels like it living here. The hottest temp recorded in Britain at Cambridge Botanical Gardens last year is just 16 miles away as the crow flies and it seldom rains.

The second year here I fed the boarders sparingly only using foliar spray with a general feed and there was some improvement in longevity in the boarders. The earthworms also seemed to increase. It was suggested to me at that time that foliar feeding only might be helping the soil recover from poor oxygen because of phosphate buildup.

Third, fourth and fifth year I’ve added in old aquarium sand, manure in autumn and green compost. The ground has an incredible amount of earthworms now when compared to five years ago. Don’t know how much I should be leaning on this, but taking it on faith that this a good sign.

That’s where the idea for the micro foliar feed for the lawn came from and every now and then I just leave the grass trimmings on top for N and K and the worms take it back in. The grass (mainly Perennial ryegrass) is more robust across the year and suffocates the weeds out. Out of the micros it’s probably only iron and zinc that really matter though and the grass doesn’t go dormant anymore but also doesn’t grow as fast as a bonus.

As usual I don’t possess enough knowledge to explain why these changes are happening, just what is happening with each change I make. It doesn’t really account for climatic change, amount of clear days per year etc... Even thunderstorms fix nitrogen and we’ve had a fair few last two summers between prolonged dry spells so maybe that’s a factor.
 

Geoffrey Rea

Member
Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
874
Location
Cambridgeshire
2 months:


1594733473722.jpeg


Between trimming sessions at the moment so the stems are at odd heights. Once the Trident fern and Bolbitis get a shift on can then start estimating the height and spread the stems need to be in order to be apparent.

In the meantime just thickening the growth out:


1594733860753.jpeg


Hopefully the two scapes will eventually complement each other through a similar pallet of colours in an arc:


1594734586368.jpeg


Sand will be going back to La Plata soon too.
 

Melll

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
402
Location
Leicester. UK
Apart from the above by The Green Machine there is a video on youtube, cannot remember if it was Oliver Knott or Jurijs Jutjajevs, that had three young people each doing a tank that then became a triptych.
 

Deano3

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2012
Messages
1,996
2 months:


View attachment 152040

Between trimming sessions at the moment so the stems are at odd heights. Once the Trident fern and Bolbitis get a shift on can then start estimating the height and spread the stems need to be in order to be apparent.

In the meantime just thickening the growth out:


View attachment 152041

Hopefully the two scapes will eventually complement each other through a similar pallet of colours in an arc:


View attachment 152043

Sand will be going back to La Plata soon too.
Looking really good geoffrey they already compliment each other well but will look amazing when colours are closer matched.

Loving the jurnals thanks for sharing
Dean

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Vijay_06

New Member
Joined
5 Feb 2019
Messages
13
Location
SC, USA
Looking very nice! I love slightly dark shaded area that starts under the Trident Fern and runs almost to the right end of the scape. It seems to provide added impact.

Have you used Frodo stones in a scape with just RO water? I am wondering how much it increases the PH, GH and TDS by in a week or so. I have read some articles that state Frodo Stones are almost inert.


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