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Gardening

Arabic Grass. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Growing a magnificent lawn is not easy. But the best bet would be Arabic grass which forms a green carpet with very thin bladed.

Benjamin Mwongela, a landscaper in Nairobi’s Kiambu Road said the grass grows faster if cuttings are used.

“The grass takes two to three months to mature to form a dark green carpet,” he said, adding that it thrives in moderate climate.

Arabic grass requires full sunshine and moderate watering, which depends on the various stages of growth.

Caring of Arabic grass starts from the first day. In the first week, water the grass every evening. In dry weather, water it once in a week but do not overdo it because it only needs moist soil not dump one.

Mr Mwongela said that in week two when it has developed the root, water it thrice a week. ‘‘When the Arabic grass is two months old, water it once a week,” said Mr Mwongela.

The Arabic grass grows horizontally and therefore it takes longer time before it is cut.

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‘‘This type of grass takes between eight to 12 months before it is trimmed for the first time,’’ the landscaper said.

After two to three years, uproot the grass and regrow it, because after this period its leaves become dull. Alternatively, rejuvenate it by top-dressing the Arabic grass with red soil and fine farmyard manure.

‘‘If you don’t have organic manure, you can use urea fertiliser. However, water the grass immediately after applying fertiliser to avoid it from being burnt. A gardener can also use a booster or foliar fertiliser if you don’t have adequate water,’’ said Mr Mwongela whose company also does lawn maintenance, installs water fountains and supplies flowers.

Compared to other lawn grasses, Arabic is relatively low maintenance.

Mr Mwongela said, Kikuyu grass, for instance, has to be cut after two weeks.

For Bermuda grass, it grows well in dry areas and it is trimmed after one month because it produces seeds in the antennas.

Arabic grass ranges from Sh1,500 to Sh3,500 per 50-kilogramme bag.

Mr Mwongela said, preparation, planting and putting manure in a quarter an acre of land in Nairobi will cost a homeowner about Sh30,000 to Sh35,000.

For other areas, the price will depend on the transport costs which is the main factor.

@ke.nationmedia.com



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