Thursday, February 02, 2012

Restoring My Poor Garden

My garden is 12 years old and the cow grass has seen better days. There are maybe just 50% grass and the rest weeds and bare soil, all because of poor maintenance and invasion by weeds from my neighbors who did not maintain their gardens as well. It is discouraging to try to restore my garden to its earlier prime but this perception changed when my adjacent neighbor, who bought over the property last year, decided to build a mid height wall (at my request) to prevent creepers from overhanging over to my side of the property. This barrier will help stop or minimize crossover of weeds into my garden. With this in mind I become more optimistic that I can get back my old garden which I seriously think needed a total makeover. I was thinking of stripping all the grass and top soil down to perhaps 6" and then replace it with new layers of sand and free-draining topsoil before putting on turfs of pre-grown pure cow grass. I was willing to spend the money.

I contacted a landscape contractor specializing in laying lawn grass. Upon sighting my garden, his immediate comment was, 'why do you want to change?' My immediate thought was, 'huh? don't you want my business?' As it turns out he was more of trying to help than make easy money out of me which I appreciated very much (he had driven 25km from his nursery to my house to inspect the garden and gave me his free opinion). He gave me this precious advice:

Your old garden can be restored if you will spend time and effort to apply fertilizer fortnightly and trim the grass weekly to blunt and eliminate most of the weeds.

I used to mow my own lawn until 7 years ago when problem from my back gave me the excuse to stop and depend on contractor gardeners to cut the grass once a month or so. I still do but the service does not include maintenance. You can say that I did not love my garden all these years, and my late dog used to defecate in it, making me dislike working on it even more. Now I have no excuse, plus my back is not as bad as before. And it will be good exercise too.

This afternoon I went mower hunting and taking into consideration my age, the size of my garden and that I still need to care for my garden for at least 5 more years, I need a machine that is lightweight, comes with a catcher, cut close to the ground and to the edge, and of low maintenance. Well I found my answer in the Bosch Rotak 40 electric rotary lawn mower, a very sensible design and easy to operate, even a lady can do it since it take pressing a button to start the motor instead of yanking the starter cord. I am pleased with its quality as it is UK made. I even bought a 25kg bag of lawn fertilizer at the same outing. I am ready to rebuild my old garden to its pristine beauty, I hope.

I've already google calendered this entry: mow and fertilize lawn on Friday, February 3. That means tomorrow. It will be alternated by just mowing without fertilizing the following week. I hope that by the 3rd month I will begin to see the cow grass re-establish control of the turf and regain at least 90% of the area. With my grandchildren very outdoorish, especially Andrew, I think I owe it to them to have a safe garden to play in.

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