Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Growing Philippine lawn grass

Here are a few photos taken after we had started our attempt to reclaim the lawn. We cleared an area and laid down some sods of Philippine grass (as it’s called here) – it’s almost impossible to find grass seeds here for some reason.

I’m not sure what the exact name of the grass is, it seems to be some kind of Cynodon I think, because it creeps along the ground, propagating via stolons and rhizomes. But the Cynodon dactylon that is referred to most often also has ‘spikes’ sticking out with seeds, which this one doesn’t. This kind of grass is also called Bermuda grass, and is very common on golf courses from what I gather.

*Edit 09/04/09*: according to anonymous below, it's actually Zoysia matrella. Which makes sense, looking at the description. And I think that what I thought were weeds are in fact the "Inflorescence [which] is a short, terminal spikelike raceme with spikelets on short appressed pedicels."

The first photo is a few days after we laid it down. We split up the mats we had bought in order to save money by letting grow to take up the spaces. You can see a stolon creeping across here.

The disadvantage of this method is that there are lots of opportunities for weeds to grow - especially since you have added some nice new topsoil and fertiliser (don't you hate fertilising weeds!) and are watering diligently (not too much, but don't let it dry out).


Three days later: it's grown a small bit, but you can also see the weeds have popped up a lot faster. At this point, it's necessary to weed by hand regularly (ideally every day), just to stop the weeds taking hold.

Nineteen days later, you can see a distinct difference, with the gap getting smaller. The weeds are still there though. Eventually, the weeds have more and more difficulty competing with the grass, and become only an occasional annoyance.

Bermuda grass actually seen as a problem in many areas, as it is very difficult to get rid of – but quite frankly, that’s an advantage compared to the grass we had been advised to get initially. It was called Pearl Grass, and it died off slowly (another story for another post). I would recommend Philippine grass for tropical gardens - it grows well in the sun, does not suffer with too much water, and is very tough and resistant to encroachment by weeds.

If you’re looking for a book on lawns, The Impatient Gardener's Lawn Book seems to have some good reviews, and is not too pricy.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This grass is named Zoysia matrella.
It is a Zoysia species originated from Philippines.

http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/turf/publications/zoysia.html

julian said...

thanks! There's some interesting information on that site. And I have to mow more often! o_O

peter said...

hi, i'd like to grow bermuda grass in our lawn. right now, it's just plain soil. i'd like to know how much is each 'square' of bermuda grass?

actually i have no idea how bermuda grass is sold. could you give me information about this? do i also need to fertilize first or put some special soil before i start covering our lawn with bermuda grass?

thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've the philippine grass at my courtyard.But it doesn't grow healthy. I wondering what's the appropriate way to plant it. My courtyard is about 10ft x 20ft. I didn't lay soil as base but my ground initially was sand

will said...

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Hancey said...

If the Turf Sunshine Coast grasses can cope up with the stress, it will be healthy and dense and will be able to resist disease. Sometime the disease may spread and it becomes out of any control. However, the disease resistant cultivars can be implemented to avoid future problems.

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Maxt Thomson said...

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Anonymous said...

Is this grass good for pets like dogs?

Shahul Hameed said...

Hi there,
Thanks for the information on Philippine grass (or bermuda grass, which i just knew after reading your blog). I am having a lawn sized around 1000 square feet, in Malaysia.
This grass is pretty good, and was suggested by a friend.
Watering them daily twice.

I have few questions:-
1. I have few spots where the grass is not growing. What can be done?
Or i just need to buy some sods, and just patch it :)
2. I saw some youtube videos on over-seeding, which make the lawn thicker?
Where can we get these seeds?
3. What is the best or recommended fertilizer for this grass ?
4. How long can it last, with-out water (or going into dormant-state) ?

Many thanks in advance.
Your info might be helpful to me and others too.

Regards
Shahul

Jade Graham said...

Here you can also add up few rocks by lining the surrounding surface of the water well, feature to allow water to go deeper inside the soil instead of spreading to the whole lawn. Or give it a pathway to go to the side of the lawn into the drains. smallest leaf blower