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How To Grow A Dichondra Lawn From Seed

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How to Plant & Maintain Dichondra Lawns

Dichondra Lawn Grass

Planting A Dichondra Lawn

Dichondra should be planted in the spring through early summer and will grow well in USDA zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. We have provided a USDA hardiness climate map if needed. Dichondra will not grow well in the northern USA. Low temperatures for your area should not go lower than 20°. Starting a Dichondra lawn is similar to planting a grass lawn.

Preparing the Soil

Dichondra grows best on a deep, loose well-drained soil, so the seedbed should be spaded or roto-tilled at least 6 inches deep. If you plan on installing a sprinkler system do this prior to planting. Work into the soil a general purpose lawn food, preferably an organic nitrogen at rate of 1# of nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. Break up any clods and rake the surface smooth and level to a slight slope so no low spots that will hold water exist and drainage will be good. Rake off rocks, sticks & other debris.

Seeding Dichondra

Dichondra seed need a warm soil temperature in order to germinate and sprout. The best time to seed Dichondra is when temperatures are 70+ degrees. This is usually late spring or early summer to early fall in most areas. When soil temperatures are too low, seed sprouting and lawn establishment is much slower and more care is required.

Sowing Seeds

Seed should be broadcast or sown a the rate of 1 pound per 500 to 1000 sq. feet. The heavier rates will give a solid stand faster. Rake in the seed to COVER them lightly. A very shallow covering of peat moss or similar organic matter, which is weed-feed, will help hold moisture until your seed sprout.

Watering

During germination the seed bed must be kept moist, but NOT soggy. A seed sprout will die once it dries out so multiple sprinklings 3-5 times a day are usually required to keep the soil moist. Use a fine mist to avoid washing away soil and seeds. Correct watering is the most challenging and important step in starting any type of lawn.

Dichondra seed will sprout in 1-2 weeks during warm weather. The first leaves that appear will be long and narrow and will NOT look like true Dichondra leaves. In a week to 10 days after most of the seedlings are up, let the soil surface dry partly out between sprinklings. Gradually increase the amount of water applied with each irrigation while slowly reducing frequency. When you water you want to water deeply but infrequently -- give Dichondra a good soaking for it's deep root system.

Watering Dichondra too frequently will cause disease and weed invasions.

MAINTAINING A DICHONDRA LAWN

Taking care of your Dichondra lawn - Maintaining a really good Dichondra lawn requires attention. But the rewards can be well worth it. A properly maintained Dichondra Lawn will require less work in the long run. By following the steps outlined below you will have a healthy Dichondra Lawn that is weed-free as well as disease and pest resistant.

Fertilizing

Do NOT apply fertilizers when the Dichondra leaves are wet and be sure to hose off leaves when you do fertilize. A thorough washing after fertilizing will carry the plant food into the soil. Fertilization during fall and winter months is also recommended. Feed your established Dichondra lawn monthly with 1/2 to 1 lb. of actual Nitrogen. This nitrogen does not have to be chemical in nature. A good animal compost or homemade compost will have plenty of nitrogen as well as traces of other elements needed to grow Dichondra or anything you may plant. Preferably use an organic compost of animal manure, compost from your own compost, or worm castings. For more information please refer to Grow It Organically.

Watering Established Dichondra

It is a common mistake to water Dichondra TOO often and TOO lightly. This causes shallow rooting, which weakens the plant and makes it more susceptible to weed invasion and diseases. Apply at least 1" of water during any single application (subject to soil runoff issues). Also do not let the soil become completely dry between waterings.

Mowing Dichondra

One of Dichondra's many attractions is that it requires LESS frequent mowing than lawn grasses. It will look neater, however, if mowed at least every two weeks and this will also help to control weeds. Set your mower to a height of 1.5 to 2.0 inches during summer months. Close cutting (3/4 inch) when temperatures are cool encourages dense small leaved turf. Don't' remove too much growth at any one cutting or when you wait too long to mow. This can cause a scalped look.

Weed, Disease & Insect Control

The first line of defense is a neatly, maintained turf, developed through good management in fertilization, mowing and watering. Dichondra will remain weed free if properly maintained as it will grow a dense mat that allows no room for weeds. A healthy Dichondra lawn planted in the correct environment and properly maintained will, in most cases, remain weed, disease and pest free.

WARNING do not use broad leaf herbicides on Dichondra as they will kill your Dichondra.

Dichondra may become susceptible to pests such as flea beetles, cutworms, and the weevil when stressed by improper maintenance or detrimental weather patterns. There are insecticides on the market to eliminate these pests but prevention by proper maintenance is the best line of defense. After all you have chosen a lawn alternative for a reason and that is usually to avoid the use of chemical products.

Organic methods to control any pests that you may encounter include home made 'pesticides' such as sprays of garlic/onion, dish soap, cayenne pepper. For more information please see http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/organic-solutions/lawn-care.

Seedland does not sell chemical herbicides, weed control products, or insecticides.

Dichondra Alternative Lawn Grass Seed

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