- Which lawn is right for you. Lawn types
- Preparing a site for a lawn
- Roll lawn device
- Sowing lawn
- Seed selection
- Young lawn care
- Basic lawn care techniques
It would seem that nothing special – the grass near the house. But a well-groomed healthy lawn is an exquisite background for the embodiment of landscape ideas, a place for fun games for children and pets and an object of pride for the owners. We will reveal the secrets of growing a real lawn and caring for it with our own hands.
Several generations of breeders and professional gardeners, through observation and selection, have formed modern ideas about cereals suitable for growing lawns. The herbs that make up the lawn mixture must meet certain requirements:
- the ability to grow in one place for many years;
- winter hardiness;
- correct growth rate of leaves;
- resistance to regular haircuts;
- low location of the tillering node;
- lack of long rigid shoot stems.
Which lawn is right for you. Lawn types
Obviously, no cereal has been found that ideally meets all wishes without exception. Therefore, so-called lawn mixtures are made for sowing. They are sets of grass seeds suitable for certain growing conditions: climate, light, aridity, mechanical stress on the site.
A clear idea of what kind of lawn you need will help you decide on the choice of lawn mixture:
1. The parterre lawn is a delicate but dense carpet of silky emerald grass. It has an exclusively decorative function. Not intended for walking. Serves as a kind of background for the house and landscape design of the site. The composition is dominated by grains with graceful leaves that tolerate a haircut well – varieties of bent grass, red fescue.
2. Sports lawn – includes plants that are resistant to trampling and mechanical damage. Along with red fescue, it includes bluegrass, and in the southern regions – also perennial ryegrass.
3. The park lawn contains varieties of cereals with slow growth, resistant to a limited amount of moisture. It is used for turfing large areas intended for walking, used in public places, on the roadsides. The grasses that make up the park lawn mixture do not require frequent mowing, they can be content with atmospheric moisture. In addition to red fescue, it includes sheep and reed fescue, bent grass.
4. Universal lawn – under this name they sell a mixture of seeds that are most suitable for creating a green lawn in a summer cottage or personal plot. A beautiful and durable turf cover serves not only as a garden decoration, but also as a place for recreation, children’s games, picnics. A versatile mixture is usually made up of several varieties of red fescue and bluegrass.
When thinking about a high-quality lawn, you need to really assess your own strength – a lot of work will be required. Far from a realistic assessment of the necessary efforts, the popular idea is to quit “hunchback” in the beds and sow everything with grass. A well-groomed emerald lawn near the house is the result of long painstaking work.
There are two ways to create a lawn:
- Sow seeds and grow green carpet from germination to full sod formation.
- Lay a roll lawn – ready-made turf grown in a specialized farm.
Regardless of the chosen method, the first stage of work on creating a lawn with your own hands is the same – you must carefully prepare the selected area.
Preparing a site for a lawn
The area set aside for the lawn must be leveled, cleared of construction debris, stones, shrubs and woody growth. To determine the quality of the soil, mini-pits are dug to a depth of 30 cm. If the soil sample is a fertile vegetable garden, the owner is very lucky. It is enough to carefully dig up the site, add complex mineral fertilizers at the rate of 50-70 g per m22 and a deoxidizer (ash, lime).
In the case when the top layer is formed from imported low-fertile soil (loam, sandy loam), it will need a serious improvement. Sand is added to loam for better permeability. For full-fledged growth of herbs, organic-rich substrates are added. Best of all – black soil, rotted manure, compost. Improves the structure and enriches the soil of the future lawn by adding leaf litter prior to autumn at the rate of 2-3 bags per 1 m2. If there is no other organic matter, peat can be used, while not forgetting to reduce the acidity of the soil..
All organic additives are applied to the site after its initial digging. By adding and mixing the soil, it is simultaneously leveled. In this case, a cultivator, a rake, leveling racks are used. The surface of the lawn is formed using a level or level by pulling the laces between the pegs with the horizon marks. It is advisable to make a slight slope from the center to the edges for water flow.
The next procedure is tamping. Before sowing seeds or laying rolls of turf, the soil must be compacted and all lenses and bumps removed. It is convenient to do this with a garden roller (preferably heavier than 70 kg). In its absence, they use heavy trimming of a log or cast iron pipe. On a small lawn, the soil can be tamped down by moving a piece of thick plywood over the surface and jumping vigorously on it.
Before planting, it is necessary to thoroughly moisten the soil and remove surface defects again. You should not neglect the perfect leveling – all other flaws are eliminated on the finished lawn much easier than puddles and sod vomiting in irregularities.
Roll lawn device
To grow a rolled lawn for steel sales in many regions of the country. Its advantage over sowing is undeniable – getting an instant tangible result – a luxurious grass carpet.
Immediately after delivery to the site, the rolls are unrolled so that the grass does not start to “burn”. They try to adjust the delivery in such a way as to start laying the lawn as soon as possible. Lay the lawn on a moistened base in dry weather. The turf rectangles are stacked tightly to each other, leaving no gaps. At the junctions with the tracks, the edges are cut to the desired shape with a sharp knife. The surface is rolled up with a light garden roller and moistened again. In the first month after laying, watering is carried out every 2-3 days, achieving accelerated root formation and fixing the sod in a new place.
With all the advantages of a rolled lawn, it does not leave the gardener the choice of a lawn mixture – the manufacturer offers only 2-3 varieties. But what if you need to pick up the grass:
- for shade or bright sun;
- for clay, sandy or peaty soil;
- for poor, dry or waterlogged oily soil, acidic or alkaline, and so on.
Ready-made seed mixtures are available for different growing conditions. You can, armed with reference books, make “recipes” for lawns with your own hands. We recommend the following composition for a universal country lawn:
- red fescue (equally divided 3-5 varieties) – 60%;
- meadow bluegrass (1-2 varieties) – 30%;
- thin bent – 10%.
Before sowing, the prepared surface is moistened and slightly loosened (by 1–1.5 cm). The seeds are mixed and a volume of 50 g is measured on a household scale. This is the seeding rate per 1 m2. Seeds are evenly scattered over the surface, while pouring half of the norm along, half across. It is better to sow on a strip 0.5–0.7 m wide, and after finishing it, move on to the next one. Seeds are covered with a thin layer (0.5–1 cm) of sifted dry peat and rolled with a light garden roller. The first shoots appear in 4-5 days and, depending on the variety, continue to sprout up to 2 weeks.
Young lawn care
In the first month, the lawn requires frequent watering – every 3-4 days. As soon as the grass stand reaches 15 cm, the first cut is made to a height of 8–10 cm. The mower blades must be sharp so as not to pull out young plants that are poorly fixed in the ground.
We’ll have to be patient and come to terms with the appearance of weeds. They start weeding when it becomes possible to step on the lawn – not earlier than after 3-4 weeks.
Basic lawn care techniques
If the varieties of grass are selected correctly, agricultural technology is followed, the lawn develops rapidly, displacing most of the weeds. Unfortunately, this will not save you from weeding – many rhizome weeds will constantly compete with cereals: dandelion, horse sorrel, creeping clover, buttercup, plantain. Regular trimming not only weakens these plants, but also makes small surviving specimens less visible. In cases of severe weed infestation of the lawn, targeted herbicides are used against dicotyledonous plants (lintur, lontrel).
Proper autumn preparation helps the lawn to survive the winter without significant losses. The last mowing is carried out no later than 1 month before stable cold weather. The lawn is combed out, trying not to step on it after prolonged autumn rains. The snow cover helps the grass to winter, protecting it from freezing. Trampling snow during winter games is undesirable, and pouring a skating rink in place of the lawn will lead to its complete death.
Damage found in the spring on the surface of the lawn – bald spots, mole holes, etc., begin to be repaired, after waiting for the soil to dry out. For the intensive growth of fresh greenery, scarification is carried out – combing out dead stems and leaves. A small country lawn can be combed out with a rake with frequent teeth.
A lawn growing on dense soils requires systematic aeration. This operation increases air exchange in the soil, is useful for the development of microorganisms, respiration of the roots. The easiest way to work on a small lawn is to stick your garden forks vertically into the turf..
Punctures should reach a depth of 15–20 cm. Garden centers offer special attachments for shoes with long spikes. In the difficult task of walking on the lawn in such shoes, guests can be involved. On large areas for aeration and scarification of lawns, specialized equipment is used.
The ironic adage that a good lawn turns out only after 200 years of regular mowing is not devoid of some truth. But, if an unconditional decision is made: to acquire a lawn – hard work and using the advice of experienced people will certainly lead to success much earlier.