Introduction to Lawns Maintaining Lush Lawns in Your Garden
The love of gardening and creating a thing of beauty is as old as the history of mankind. Many people are born with this innate desire no doubt inherited from their ancestors to feel the soil running through their fingers, and create a wonderful place where new life grows, in the shape of trees, flowers, herbs and shrubs.
This is the reason why since ancient times people have been covering wide stretches and expanses of barren land with grass seeds. Soon, lawns covered with green became part of the familiar beauty of a garden. Just imagine a garden without any sort of lawn in it. Or better still, imagine a landscape full of trees, plants, and shrubs, interspersed with brown soil with no patches of green grass around to dispel the harsh color scheme of green and brown.
Green grass underfoot…
A well-kept lawn is an asset, as well as nearly indispensable to any garden as this is the most eye-catching feature of the landscape. This is the reason why, there are just a few, except very tiny gardens which do not possess a small portion of grass to which is given the name of “lawn.”
It is generally noted that a lawn is not treated by the owner with the same respect and care as the rest of the garden. That is because many people think that the grass seeds are so hardy, that all you need to do is to sprinkle them on an area, and allow them to proliferate. Well, the seeds are going to do that. However, if they are left unchecked, they are going to take over garden space space, and any available surface. 10 years from now, you are going to have a lawn which you can reap for hay!
A well-made lawn is going to demand the same care and attention to detail, which you are going to give to the rest of your garden crops. That is because you must remember that grass is a living plant. That is why it is worthy of the treatment and the care which you would give to any plant to ensure its growing well and in a healthy manner.
Grass is very adaptable and it is going to grow easily. But with the right treatment and care of the ground, prior to sowing or turfing, you are going to get well worth it results, and most important of all, you are going to have a lawn which is going to remain in perfect condition over a long period of years.
Why Make a Lawn?
So why would you want to make a lawn and go through all the trouble of sowing grass, taking care of it and yelling at people not to walk over that stretch of grass covered land?
Firstly, this green carpet is going to set off the variety and color of flowers and foliage. It is also going to act as the perfect foil for your garden beds and your borders. Gardeners normally have an eye for color, when they are planting their garden. That is why a lush green lawn, interspersed with flowers of different colors are going to be a really eye-catching contrast.
A really good lawn is going to have a smooth and even surface. The best lawn is, of course, the one which looks like deep green velvet fabric spread all over the earth.
Lawn making preliminaries are going to include –
Selection and preparation of the land
And of course, sowing of the seeds
Selection and Preparation of Land
I remember my father being transferred to a high-altitude base, when I was a child. He was taken to inspect his new official residence/bungalow, which was being prepared for him, and his kids tagged along.
The selection and preparation of the land has to be done carefully because the grass is going to grow best in full sunshine. Also, you need to see that that land is well moisturized, because the saddest thing that one person can see in a garden is a lawn which is completely dry, because it has not been watered properly.
It would be a good idea to plant large shady trees away from a lawn. This is so that they do not hinder the sun rays from falling onto the grass growing below.
The soil has to be rich and well-drained. It should not be less than 15 cm deep. It should be free from stones and weeds. It should not be above the land on which the house is built. It should be about 4 cm above the level of any adjoining path or flower bed.
When to Level?
This digging the surface deeply and breaking up the surface, and as finely as possible should be done sometime before the time of sowing or turfing.
When the ground has been leveled roughly by raking and working the surface, you should place the pegs in again and a fine and true level made and found. If, however, leveling is done as soon as the digging is completed, you are going to notice that you have been trying to make the surface on what is, after all, loose soil and ground. This is a slip shoddy way of trying to level the surface.
That is because such a ground is going to consolidate in an uneven manner. That means all your efforts have failed to produce a really good and true level.
To avoid that, the ground should be roughly raked after digging is finished and then it should be trodden.
I suggest treading because this is more effective than rolling. Traditional treading is done by keeping your feet close together and taking such short steps that one heel mark follows on the toe mark of the previous one. All this is going to make for a good, even soil base. Then you can begin the final leveling.
The final leveling is done by working from peg to peg. No matter how long the leveling takes, do this methodically and well. Use the wide iron rake. Work this both up and down and across the area. One inch of soil loose on the soil, and the top is going to be very useful for seeding and turfing.
You do not have to go to such lengths to maintain your lawn!
The lawn is kept moist until the shoots appear with the help of a gentle sprinkler. Avoid using the lawn for some time, and avoid mowing until the grasses are at least 1 – 1.5 inches in height.
I remember our lawns being watered in the evening hours. I still remember the intoxicating aroma of wet dust, the likes of which perfume does not exist anywhere else in nature. Many gardeners believe that this aroma is the reason why they like gardening as it appeals not only to their senses, but to an inborn natural and ancient instinct in them to moisturize the dry land and feed it with water.
Problems in Your Lawn
Thin and uneven grass is going to be a major problem, especially when the lawn is made by sowing seeds. If such a condition prevails, you should thin out the weak area. Top dressing is going to be done with an extra dose of organic fertilizer. Sow it over again.
When you are laying down the lawn with turf, there is possibly going to be a shrinkage in the turf. This may give rise to cracks and sometimes even furrows and gullies. This condition can appear even in the seed sown lawn.
In such a case, the dry soil has to be watered thoroughly. The cracks should be filled up with sand. More seeds should be sown. If you find yourself with moss growing on your lawn, it means that it has been allowed to be waterlogged.
Stop irrigating until the soil is dry again. Make up a weak solution of potassium permanganate in water and apply it after mowing. One or two applications are going to take care of the moss problem.
Any sort of excessive moisture in the soil is going to cause damping problem, and the seedlings are going to die because the roots have rotted. So take care against damping.
Feeding Your Lawn
Grass like any other plant growing in your garden is going to need the necessary nutrients from the soil in order to grow and flourish. There are plenty of chemical-based fertilizers available in the month today and sold extensively in the market. But as I advocate natural organic fertilizer, I would suggest garden compost and garden manure to feed your lawn.
Top dressing with fertilizer is carried out in the late autumn or in the early winter. Cross rake and rake the area properly remove all the weeds. Give the area a half inch dressing of sifted soil. You have added a little bit of dry organic matter to this soil.
Put it on as level as possible and brush it in with a light broom. Organic fertilizer is going to be slow acting and is going to help nourish your soil.
In the early spring you may need to sweep the lawn and then roll over it. The lawn is going to be ready for its first cutting in the beginning of April, when the frost is over.
I would suggest not cutting your lawn before the coming of winter and allowing the grass about 2 inches long as winter sets in. This is going to protect the basal growth during the winter season.
This book has given you plenty of information on how you can make and maintain a lawn. Possibly, you may find your lawn being attacked by a number of pests and diseases. Fungal diseases and root rot can be controlled by stopping the water supply to your lawn and allowing the soil to dry out.
A friend of mine said that she considered earth worms to be a pest on her lawn. According to me, earthworms are definitely not pests, but each to his own. If you think that these worms are persistent and in such numbers as to disfigure the lawn with their castings, just drench the lawn with water. They are immediately going to rise up to the surface. Collect them and place them in your organic fertilizer bins. Or go fishing.
If you are making your lawn, particularly for games, make sure that the grass is going to be of good wearing quality. The finer grasses are not recommended here. Exports are going to help you make a good base in a well-drained future grass lawn tennis court.
So enjoy your attractive lawn in the garden, Live Long and Prosper!