Secrets and tips to grown your own dwarf dichondra lawn
What is dwarf dichondra?
The dwarf dichondra is a herbaceous species belonging to the Convolvulaceae: it grows abundantly and vigorously without needing a lot of maintenance and because of this, it is widely used to create turfs. In fact, it does not suffer if it’s walked on or crushed, because it can regenerate itself quickly.
It was introduced in the gardening industry in the 80s as a valid alternative to gramineae, which was, at that time, the most commonly used species for turfs.
Dwarf dichondra is characterized by forming extremely compact turfs and, decisively low: in fact, the plants do not go above 3 centimeters in height. Perennial and creeping, it appears as a decorative plant, as it has small round leaves of a light green color and white-yellow flowers.
Dwarf dichondra is much appreciated as it spreads easily, it resists very well to the cold and does not need frequent cuttings and watering. Actually, it adapts perfectly both to regular soils and those with little water and nutrients, in the shade and in sunny positions and in places with brackish air.
This extreme versatility and resistance is explained with the fact that the plant has the characteristics of a pest species, even though it does not belong to this type of plants: consequently, it takes root everywhere.
The intended use of dwarf dichondra and its cultivation
Dichondra is mostly used for paths and turfs, but it also adapts very well to the crack of gneisses and pavements. Particularly is a perfect plant for ornamental gardening, for instance, for modern and japanese gardens. Several varieties exists, that in the latest years have been crossed between them to have ornamental hybrids: the most common ones have dropping growth or colored flowers.
The cultivation of dwarf dichondra takes place by sowing or by planting pre-established clods in the garden that spread in one or two seasons with a stolon. In practice, the pre-cultivated clods are laid a couple centimeters below the lawn itself and light pead is added.
How to grow a lawn of dwarf dichondra
The creation of a dwarf dichondra happens in most cases through the seeds: these are sprinkled and spread on the ground, after having dug it and eventually refined it if it’s made up of poor and arid landfill. If desired, a draining layer can be added under the soil to avoid water stagnation. The best time for the sowing is from the first days of april until mid may.
After sowing, the soil is rolled, so that the seed adheres well to the earth. Then everything is covered with humus-rich soil or river sand: this last solution is needed to have good drainage. In the first weeks after the sowing you must regularly water the soil to keep it humid: so that the sprouting is favored. Once the seedlings start to sprout, the frequency of water decreases.
The dwarf dichondra lawn needs basic maintenance: with the sowing at the end of april, a cut can be made in mid-june. In the warmest months of summer, in case the turf is exposed to the sun all day, it is advisable to water the soil in the morning or the late evening.
As for the lawn fertilization, there are four interventions and they are divided over the year: in any case they must be carried out in the absence of sun and when the leaves are dry to avoid damage. If the sowing happens in april after having dug the soil, the first fertilization starts in august: you need to spread a not too abundant dose of slow releasing nitrogen fertilizer.
Subsequently, in anticipation of winter, potassium based fertilizers are added during the month of november; instead in march or during the first days of april, ready-to-use nitrogen fertilizer is spread to favor plant recovery. Finally, in june, when the turf has a luxurious look, the soil is fertilized with a balanced slow release fertilizer.