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February 2023

Dear Tanya

I need your advice on my lawn. My lawn is kikuyu and very lush and thick. Last year I saw that the ground was making holes. The grass is green and pretty but when you walk on the lawn there are gaps as big as a saucer. What must I do?

Petro Marais

Hi Petro, 

Bare patches in the lawn can be caused by many factors – lack of water, heavy traffic, harvester termites. Please do the following: Place a wet sack or piece of cloth over the patch during the day and then go and inspect the cloth later – in about 5 hours. If there are termites they would have gathered on the underside of the cloth. If this is the case, please go to your local garden centre and get a solution for getting rid of the termites – there are various sprays as well as baits available.

 If there is no sign of termites then I suggest the following: Loosen the bare patches of soil. Dig in a good amount of compost into this bare soil. You can either buy grass plugs to fill these patches or simply wait for the grass to eventually cover it. Keep these patches well-watered – at least twice a week.

I would also feed the lawn with KynoGarden as per the instructions and 4 weeks later with Kynoch TurboGrass

All the best, Tanya

Could you please help me identify this flower. It looks like a lily? Highly appreciated if you could help me with a name.

Cecilia Thysse

Hi Cecilia,

Wow, you have a beauty there! Hopefully you have a bulb or two that I may buy from you please. It’s a member of the amaryllis family. The genus is known as Hymenocallis of which there are more than 60 species native to regions of the Americas, but some also naturalised in Africa. The curious shape of the flower is like that of combining a daffodil and a lily, giving it the common name spider lily or Peruvian daffodil.

They flower in summer when they need plenty of water and go dormant in autumn when they need a bit of dryness to encourage blooming the following season. When they start to die down, cut off the old flowers and dead foliage. You can leave them in the ground and they will clump up in 3-4 years.

After that they can be lifted, divided and moved elsewhere in the dormant months.

They can take up to 3 years to flower and watch out for snails and slugs.

All the best, Tanya

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