We’re not doing very well with our lawns. First, the back one turned to a mud pit (which was not our fault) and now the front one is a sad and sorry weed patch (totally our fault) which only looks vaguely pleasing right after it’s just been mowed. BUT the plan has always been to replace the concrete turning bay in front of the house with lawn, so neglect has been the name of the lawn game, knowing it’ll all be churned up some day anyway to get it all relatively level.
That day is now just around the corner though (now the patio is started) so I’ve been looking into how we go about killing it off, without killing the children. We’re not worried about the neighbours cats, but I don’t think you can get combination weed and pet killers, without also affecting small children.
We try to be a bit organic and chemical free, but within reason. I’m still pretty big on convenience, and budget is always taken into account.
So in a quick half hour trawl around with Google’s help I have found one “traditional” spray it on type weed killer sans chemical nasties, apparently available at most hardware/gardening stores in New Zealand.
Made by Kiwicare, and now called Organic Weedfree Rapid (was once called “No Weeds”) it’s available in a ready to use spray bottle, or a concentrate. It’s non-selective so I think it’ll do the trick for all green stuff it gets its spray on.
According to this blog just “watch your weeds wilt and die within hours with the new organic weed killer. Kiwicare Organic NO Weeds is certified organic by BioGro® and uses a combination of natural technologies to achieve spectacular results. With a combination of both natural pine oils and plant fatty acids in the formulation the product strips the waxy cuticles from weeds and disrupts plant cell walls dehydrating the weed and killing it. The product works fast, particularly on warm dry days.”
This one adds: “Organic Weedkiller is a non-selective foliar herbicide for use around the home and garden. Organic Weedkiller causes rapid dehydration, wilting and death. It quickly and effectively controls a wide range of grass weeds, broadleaf weeds, clovers and mosses. Organic Weedkiller is non-systemic and is inactive in the soil.”
If you’re suspicious of ready-made solutions, here’s another interesting idea to kill off some greenery. It’s quite likely the cheaper option too.
The blogging chappie at Landscape Design says “What she did was to use nitrogen in the form of sulphate of ammonia over the lawn. This was applied when the lawn was dry and the product was broadcast by hand in the same way as one would sow lawn seed by hand. North/South and then East/West. A lawn spreader could be used instead if preferred. Now the nitrogen when it gets a little moisture from dew activates and burns. It burns off both weeds and grasses so for a time you will have a brown lawn. The grasses come back and most of the weeds don’t. Interestingly it can also kill off inferior grasses, leaving the better grasses to colonise the lawn. A month after application she would give the lawn a good dose of garden lime to overcome any damage done by the sulphate of ammonia.”
There’s a whole lot more advice in the article along with this tip for when we come to resow: “The best lawns are a combination of fescue and the new fine rye grasses with no brown top.”
Down in the southern hemisphere it’s not so long until the optimum lawn growing time (Autumn) so I hope this is timely advice for anyone else embarking on a lawn makeover. I’ll let you know how we get on…
Picture from Pinterest.