There’s profit in taking ‘green’ action

Winter on the highveld definitely has it’s joys – bright sunny days and clear nights just perfect for a braai. But it is also the dry season, and the lack of rain combined with the occasional frost makes for brown, crispy lawns that are really not appealing to homebuyers.
So if you are planning to put your home on sale in the spring, you should take action as soon as there’s no more frost to ensure that your lawn will be green and velvety in time for your first show day, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“What’s more, you’ll probably find that it’s really not as hard as you think to achieve a lawn that will increase the curb appeal of your property – and probably also be the envy of your neighbours!”
Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says expert recommendations include the following:
* Rake. Using a broad, flexible leaf rake that won’t damage the grass roots, remove any loose dead grass and other organic debris and allow the grass blades to stand up straight so that air circulates through to their base.
* Fertilize. The best way to do this is to spread a thin layer of fine organic compost over your lawn two or three times a year and water it in for about 15 to 20 minutes, then leave the lawn alone for about a week. Alternatively, pick a good quality, slow release chemical fertilizer, with a high percentage (up to 10%) of nitrogen, indicated by the first of the three NPK numbers on the bag. The others stand for the percentages of phosphorous and potassium but it is nitrogen that lawns need most when the spring growing season begins.
* Seed. If your lawn is uneven or patchy, spread about 2cm of top soil over the dips and thinner areas and broadcast a fine layer of good quality grass seed over these. Tamp down and then water frequently until germination occurs (usually four to six weeks). Then leave the grass to grow to about 4cm throughout before starting your summer mowing schedule.
* To encourage your lawn to grow thick and keep out weeds, mow frequently but never too short. Make sure the blades of your mower are kept sharp so it cuts cleanly and doesn’t tear up your grass, and set them to cut no more than a third of the height of the grass at any time.

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