Aug 1, 2013 by


Article written by : Bali Garden

I start with the heading of GRASS lawns as there is another definition of lawn, being a very fine fabric of cotton or linen.

With grass lawns you either love them or hate them, reasons are simple, a) our grass is not as green as theirs (usually neighbours). b) our grass looks patchy, caused by heavy usage or lack of feeding/watering. c) you have got to keep cutting them. The only “joke answer” is to pour whiskey over the grass and it will come up “half cut”.

Seriously, if you would like a better green grass lawn, you need to take care of it as you would with any type of flower or plant, so I have made various suggestions and ideas to look after and take care of your lawn grass, and I have included a section on turning your yard or bare area of garden into a grass lawn.

First we will take the forming of a new grass lawn area, by deciding how, why, and where, you wish to place it, if the area is close to a flower border or trees etc., use an edging, which you can make out of thinnish timber/wood placed on edge, and with a few stakes (placed around the shape of the lawn you have selected), to nail to you can have the lawn raised lightly above the other plants, alternatively, you could purchase an edging of say metal shapes or log types as there will many variations at your local landscaping or gardening centre that may make staking the lawn area you require.

The main requirement for a good grass lawn is preparation, wether you decide to seed or lay sods (I prefer the use of the word turf, as it appears that I am not swearing as much). As I have indicated plants need caring for( in this case the grass,) and you start as with anything new to prepare the ground, in this case your yard or garden. Start by removing the rubbish such as sRobin "inspecting" the grass lawntones, weeds or old grass. Stones may need digging out dependent on size whilst the smaller ones can be “raked away, weeds I would recommend digging out as you can make sure you get the root out, whilst old grass can be remove by cutting with a flat spade or shovel dependant on the soil, or you may wish to hire a turf cutting/removal machine from your garden/landscape centre.

Now you start the soil treatment, and good preparation for a lawn will give you good results, ( some people suggest you test the soil for ph, whilst I can say tLawn carehis is a good idea, look generally at the grass growing already and this will indicate if there trouble and a test is necesary). Now you will need to till or rotovate the area, normally a tiller or rotovator can be hired if there is a large area or you do not fancy carrying out this work, what this essentially does is break up the soil,and aerate to a finer texture. Here I must tell you that when I first carried out rotovation on a new garden, it was in the height of summer, and with the use of a heavy (rented) machine, and the  ground   was “rock”  hard, so I  sprayed  the area with water for the machine to do its work, but this was carried out many times due to the heat, (even I needed a beer to cool down). At this point your future grass lawn will look like a brown patch, and will Preparation fpr turves or grass seedprobably require further raking to remove stones or other such objects, (may I therefor ask for a  percentage of the treasure found?)  The next process is to add a fertiliser/conditioner readily available at your local store ( for those of you who have read my pages on composting ,if yours is ready it can be laid on the tilled area), spread whichever you choice of conditioner over the soil, and then till/rotovate the area again, levelling the ground as you go ( this is the time that will show how level your grass lawn will look like) if this seems like hard work, think of the excuse you can use to have another cold (beer) drink.

Now you go walkabout! toe heel impressions, where you tread on the soil leaving a print, you place your heel on the front of the toe print, rather like doing a soft shoe shuffle over the whole area ( anyone seeing you do this may extract the “mickey”), for you are now firming the soil for the gass seeds/turves, alternatively a light roller would do the job.

From here you must decide whether you wish to seed the grass or lay turf, the main difference obviously, that turf makes the area green instantly at a cost whereas Turf ready to be laidseeding takes a little longer and is the cheaper of the two. First we will start with turf, and you should consult your local stockist as to the type:- Meadow or Cumberland, ( these are two types in the U.K.) the first being a hard wearing general purpose type, and the latter a show ground/bowling green type, of course in your locality they may have different names but it gives you the idea there are different types. also ask the availability as the suppliers tend to cut the turves fresh and deliver them immediately after cutting, in your decision you should consider laying them in spring or ealy fall/autumn as there is plenty of moisture in the air or even light rain. When I moved into a new house I laid the turf in mid summer!! this is not a no-no, but it does means additional care to make sure the turf never dried out, and to keep the grass green.

Having received your delivery of turf you may wish to lightly spray and cover as evaporation from the product would be detrimental. Start to lay the turves  from one edge, to lay the second row place a plank or scaffold board on the first row to allow you to walk back and forth without disturbing the soil also on the second and subsequent even lines, use half of a turf so you are placing them brick fashion, in “butting” the tuves together push them tight to each other and not leave any gaps and allows for shrinkage in dey weather, this will allow them to “knit” together and over time you will not see the joins. When approaching the final edge use a whole turf as there is more moisture in a whole turf, and a small piece would tend o dry out a lot quicker, dependant on the temperature on laying the turves you may need to water lightly.

Try not to walk on the turves in thieir early life as this will tend to leave foot impressions, at this early stage of watering you may want to consider purchasing a sprinkler system as this will save you time as all you need do is move the sprinkler head to the area yet to be watered. DO NO OVER WATER.

Now let us turn to seeding, preparation is exactly the same for turf, you will also have a choice on the type of grass you would like, (your supplier is normally happy to explain,) but having rolled the grond level, you must now lightly rake the area to allow the seed to be distibuted whilst this can be carried out by hand, I  would recommend a seed speader (cheap enough to buy or hire), as the seed will be more evenly spread, do go across diagonally or 90 degrees to the first spread as this would make dispersing more even, on completion lightly rake the soil to cover the seed and water gently with a fine rose on your hose or sprinkler system as you would not want to wash the seed away.

Finally you may want to protect the seeds from birds by covering with a pea netting or similar. The seeding or turfing method can also be used in the repair of lawns which have worn away through heavy traffic or some type of nasty has been spilt. I would like to leave you with this thought ” after your labours you will have somewhere to sit enabling you to drink another cold beer.

May your grass be greener than mine.

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