In The Garden

Written By: The Lowdown - Jun• 29•13

logo In The Garden 1Grass grows slowly in the winter months. This does not mean that you can neglect it. On the contrary, it needs extra attention to keep it looking green and to provide the perfect background for your garden. But first, take a look at your grass-cutting machine. The lawn mower should be maintained well in order to persuade it to last for many years. I had not been checking my mower regularly and when I finally took a good look at it, it was clear that the gardener had not been checking it either! There was a thick layer of hardened mud lining the inside of the metal cover and interfering with the spinning of the blade. The blade itself had a hole in it. The wheels were badly worn and wobbling frantically.


I recalled that someone had recommended a company called Dynatec and set off to find it. They are situated on Luanshya Road directly opposite the end of Washama Road with a large green gate. Amon Banda was both helpful and knowledgeable, and assured me that they could replace the blade but advised that the mower also needed bushes for the wheels and a few other replacement parts. I was sent a quotation by SMS that evening. Two days later the mower was ready for collection and set for at least a few more years cutting my grass. Since it is an electric lawn mower it does not need regular oiling, filter changes and servicing like petrol machines. However, Amon recommended that the mower be stopped and allowed to cool down after 30 minutes and cleaned thoroughly every time it is used. Great care should be taken to remove stones from the grass. The blade should be checked monthly for signs of wear and tear. If the blade becomes uneven it will cause vibration which is very damaging. A new blade costs K80 so it is well worth replacing it whenever necessary.


Dynatec has Tandem mowers for sale. A petrol mower costs KR 3,450; an electric mower costs KR 2,250 and a manual mower KR 900. If you have a small area of very fine, level lawn, the rotating blades of a manual mower will give the best cut. Dynatec can be contacted on 0955 990-188.


The various types of grass that will grow successfully have different qualities but my favourite by far is Richmond. Its short, green, slightly twisted blade is fine and soft to walk on. It grows well in shade. It needs watering of course but can survive well without too much fertiliser. Use LAN or Compound D once a month in winter and then in the warm weather give a more generous amount of these fertilisers once a fortnight and cover the lawn with a fine layer of compost and well-dried manure early in the rains.


There is a debate over whether to remove all the grass cuttings from the surface of the lawn. Cuttings can act as a mulch, protecting the soil, and can break down to give some extra nutrients. But they eventually make a thick mat of dead material that can allow diseases to attack the lawn. I prefer to add them to the compost heap, mixing them in well with other organic material to avoid creating a solid layer that blocks aeration. They can also be used as mulch on flower and vegetable beds.



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