Choose the Perfect Lawn with Mayford
From the dry landscapes in Alexander Bay and the hot temperatures in Vioolsdrif, to rainy climates like Franschhoek, and Sutherland, the coldest place in South Africa – it seems that every province comes with its own climate. Every region has a grass type that works the best for that region. Whether you need widely adapted (exotic) or indigenous wild grasses, there is a lawn grass solution for absolutely every possible application in Southern Africa! This should be great news to those who struggle with their grass. MayFord shares some great insight with us, so take a look and identify which grass type will suit your lawn the best.
MayFord has become a household name as the trusted and tested seed brand. The MayFord packaging comes with easy to follow planting instructions and the expiry date printed on the packaging gives the customer the insurance that the seed is always fresh.
Waterwise Indigenous Grasses:
LM Berea is indigenous to South Africa and originally found on the KwaZulu Natal coast and into Mozambique. It performs very well in shady to semi-shaded conditions, but it can also be planted in the sun. The name ‘LM Berea’ derives from the former name for Maputo (Lourenco Marques) and Berea, a suburb of Durban. LM is heat tolerant and can recover from drought and heat stress through its creeping growth habit. LM is a water-wise shade-tolerant creeper that promises rapid establishment from seed.
Princess is an indigenous fine-textured Cynodon Dactylon grass variety. Perfected on the golf course, Princess is the most advanced Cynodon variety available and has a creeping growth habit with a medium-fine texture with excellent colour. Princess is suitable to plant in the full sun and has excellent drought, heat and wear tolerance which makes this grass very suitable to the home garden as well as bigger landscape areas, sports fields and golf course fairways.
Buffalo Grass (Stenotaphrum Secondatum) is a unique grass seed that is indigenous, Waterwise, and tolerates both sun and semi-shade. Buffalo is a perennial creeper grass and is heat tolerant and drought tolerant. Sounds a bit like LM Berea right? The difference is that Buffalo grows naturally in most coastal areas and is therefore very well known all over the Cape region. A perennial creeping grass with long stolons, it forms a dense coarse mat. Leaf-sheaths are prominently flattened. It is therefore slightly more coarse than LM Berea with a lighter green colour. Buffalo grass grows naturally in coastal regions, always near the coast or close to some source of water. It grows in all types of soils. It is also found inland as a lawn grass.
Cool Season Grasses:
MayFord’s cool-season grasses have been locally trialled and tested for 30 years to develop a perfect mixture of lawn seed specifically focused on South African conditions. They are referred to as cool-season grasses as they prefer to be planted in cool seasons ie; spring and autumn, and since they do not creep, you will never need a weed-eater! Watch for correct (much higher) cutting height. These grasses have become brands in their own right and are the only grasses available in South Africa in both seed and instant lawn. Ask for them by name!
All Seasons Evergreen®
All Seasons Evergreen® has been designed to grow in full sun and semi-shade conditions. Unlike the creeping grasses, this grass mixture will stay green throughout the year, no matter how cold it gets. All Seasons Evergreen® can thrive in a wide variety of growing conditions and reduced susceptibility to disease without compromising the overall uniformity of the lawn’s appearance.
Shade-Over® has been designed to grow in full shade and semi-shade. The combination of All Seasons Evergreen® and Shade-Over® thus covers the whole spectrum from shade to full sun while maintaining a uniform appearance. Shade-Over® has been designed to cope with low light intensities under trees and on the south sides of walls. This grass mixture will also stay green throughout the year.
LM Berea is currently the most popular and best-selling MayFord lawn grass. MayFord is the first seed company that can supply LM grass in the form of seeds. The fact that LM Berea grass is indigenous, means it can be planted in full sun, semi-shade and shaded areas. It is relatively heat tolerant and Waterwise making it the top-seller grass that considers South Africa’s climate.
Kikuyu remains a popular grass largely due to ease of maintenance. It is not indigenous to SA (indigenous to East Africa) and is therefore not exactly Waterwise. Either way, Kikuyu is easy to establish from seed provided the sowing guide on the seed packet is followed carefully. Kikuyu tends to ‘thatch’ and therefore needs a fair amount of attention in early spring including scarification every other season.
Biomosome™ grass has been developed according to the various biome areas of South Africa. They represent a significant advantage on the all-purpose veld seed mixtures which are easily available. The initial purpose of these veld grass mixtures was to rehabilitate natural veld, but they can also be used within the landscaping environment to create an aesthetic effect in bigger landscape areas. These grass mixtures can be planted in shaded or sunny areas and are both heat and drought tolerant.
Top Tips for the Coming Summer
Mowing defines a lawn. Do it right and the result is a healthy, manicured and dense lawn. The practice of mowing is highly stressful for the grass plants. Never remove more than ⅓ of the blade length at a time. The mowing frequency will depend on the growth rate of the grass.
MayFord suggests cutting grass growing in full sun at about 40 to 50 mm and grass growing in shade between 50 and 80 mm – the deeper the shade the higher the cutting height.
The amount of irrigation needed will largely depend on the type of grass that was planted. Overwatering causes waterlogged soils that encourage diseases. The soil in shade areas often tends to be over watered and thus is often too wet and generally of poor physical condition. Creeping grasses should be watered during their growing season. The correct irrigation frequency and quantity will also depend on prevailing temperatures. Deep and less frequent irrigation will encourage deep root growth. Shallow irrigation confines the roots to the upper soil levels where they will be regularly exposed to dry conditions. This stresses the plants, slows the growth rate and increases their susceptibility to disease.
Lawns are some of the most densely planted areas – if you think about it, it is thousands of plants that grow together in limited space in the ground. The soil nutrient carrying capacity of permanent lawns is quickly exhausted. A fertilizer programme will ensure that the plants have the necessary nutrients available to sustain growth during the growing season by providing the correct nutrient environment in the soil. We recommend organic fertilizer and ‘Bio Ganic Lawns’ from Atlantic Fertilizers is a perfect companion for our entire range of grasses. For a more detailed fertilizer programme, consult any leading garden centre or retailer.
Did You Know?
MayFord is a proud member and sponsor of various associations within the green industry, that include SANA (SA Nursery Association), SAGIC (SA Green Industries Council), Cape Green Forum and SALI (SA Landscapers Institute). MayFord is also a proud sponsor of an annual SALI award, awarded to the landscape company with the best use of colour in a landscape project.
MayFord has a team of specialists that are always on standby to give lawn advice and with a professional after-sales service. The MayFord website under the “Grasses” section is also a fantastic guide filled with information and guidelines on the soil preparation, planting and caring for all the various MayFord grass varieties.
For the full product range and planting instructions please visit the MayFord’s website.