Ligaya gardening tips #2 Make friends with annual grasses

We often get asked for gardening tips, so have decided to do a weekly post describing things we do to keep our garden going well with bugger all effort.

I’ll collate them on this page.

Here’s this week’s…

One type of annual grass
One type of annual grass

Annual grasses are our friends for many reasons.

They grow from seed, so they attract birds and insects to the garden and self sow so you don’t need as much effort to grow them. They’re shallow rooted, so are easy to pull up. Also, having them there crowds out other, less useful and invasive plants.

When they’re finished you can compost them, pull them up and drop them as mulch or feed them to rabbits, Guinea pigs or chooks.

One thing I do at the beginning of every spring is to buy a kilo or so of Canary seed mix from somewhere, soak it in water for a couple of hours and then throw it around the garden.

The soaking helps them germinate faster and theoretically, beat the seed eaters who don’t go for the green growth. That’s only a working theory in development but it seems to work!

Most of the seeds in these mixes are grasses and some have quite beautiful seed heads when mature. I have to replace them every year because not enough self sow enough to beat the next season’s birds.

Another annual grass
Another annual grass

The best part is that you don’t even need to know their names, just learn to identify them and distinguish them from more insidious, perennial invaders such as Couch and Kikuyu.

Those perennial nasties are still sold by landscapers for lawns. They grow steadily underground and can pop up metres from where you last saw them. We’ve found Kikuyu rhizomes 3 metres long and punching through double layers of thick, builders plastic. They’re the bane of most folks who garden and don’t have lawns, creeping through from neighbouring blocks or from the verge.

Evil, evil Kikuyu
Evil, evil Kikuyu creeping trough under a bed.

If you find too many annual grasses popping up for your taste, pull them up or pour boiling water directly onto them at their base or crown. They’ll turn yellow and disappear in a couple of days.


Download a free pdf of this page, just click this link

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