A lawn is the heart of the garden. It is the centrepiece around which all other garden elements are placed in subordinate order. This is a complete Lawn and Turf Development: Maintenance Guide. You will get information about lawn and turf development and maintenance step by step from here.
Table of Contents [hide]
- 1 Lawn and Turf Development: Maintenance Guide
- 1.1 Site for a lawn
- 1.2 Soil for a lawn
- 1.3 Drainage in a lawn
- 1.4 Preparation of lawn soil
- 1.5 Manure and fertilizer application
- 1.6 Selection of grasses
- 1.6.1 a) Seed sowing
- 1.6.2 b) Dibbling
- 1.6.3 c) Turf-plastering
- 1.6.4 d) Turfing
- 1.7 Maintenance of lawn
- 1.7.1 a) Weeding
- 1.7.2 b) Liming
- 1.7.3 c) Rolling, mowing and sweeping
- 1.7.4 d) Irrigation
- 1.7.5 e) Scraping and raking
- 1.7.6 f) Top dressing with compost and fertilizer
Lawn and Turf Development: Maintenance Guide
Lawn is very important in a garden because the total effect primarily depends on it.
– A lawn can be defined as a piece of land covered with uniformly green soft grass.
– A good lawn can be compared with a cushion-like velvety carpet, giving enormous pleasure to one’s eyes and feelings.
– Turf is a carpet of grass on a piece of earth of about 5cm thickness.
– A lawn is a basic feature for home ground development and an essential feature for any other type of garden.
– In a home garden a lawn improves the appearance of the house, enhances its beauty, increases convenience and usefulness.
– The lawn provides a perfect setting for a flower bed, a border, a shrubbery or a specimen tree or a shrub.
– Lawn is the source of charm and pride and reduces the tension of the mind after a day’s hard work.
– The view of a lawn should be uninterrupted from the house or the entrance.
– If the lawn is spacious, seasonal beds, herbaceous borders, beds of cannas, attractive specimen trees or shrubs such as Aurocaria, Thuja etc may be planted.
– Some bulbous plants may also be planted in groups in the lawn.
– A garden lover should remember that 75% beauty of the garden depends on a good lawn.
Site for a lawn
– Grass does not grow under shade, so a site for lawn should receive full sunshine throughout the day.
– The best situation will be the southern side and the next best is the south-east and south-west of the building.
– The land should be high with gentle slope to ensure proper drainage.
– In a home garden lawn should be attached to the residential building.
– It should have easy access from the front veranda.
Soil for a lawn
– Loamy soil is the best for a good lawn. The soil should retain enough moisture.
– Clay, sandy and gravelly soil needs plenty of heavy organic matter.
– The pH should be 5.5 to 6.0. If it is too acidic about 500g of chalk or grounded limestone should be added per m 2 area. In an alkaline soil gypsum should be added at the same rate.
– At least a depth of 25 – 30cm of good soil is required for obtaining a good lawn.
Drainage in a lawn
– The next thing will be to ensure proper drainage in a lawn. Grasses are shallow rooted perennial herbs, so no deep drainage is necessary, but no water should stagnate in the rooting zone.
Preparation of lawn soil
– Land preparation should start soon after the winter months. The rough surface should be leveled by eye estimation prior to digging.
– The soil should be opened at a depth of 25cm. Spade is the best implement for digging the soil.
– Opened big clods should be kept exposed to the strong sunshine of the summer for more than a month.
– This will kill the surface vegetation as well as the eggs, larvae and adults of many insects. Many harmful fungi and bacteria will also be killed.
– Clods should then be broken by hitting hard with the help of spade.
– The soil should be turned up subsequently 2 – 3 times at weekly intervals. Each time the clods of earth are broken and also stones, old masonry, grass roots should be removed.
– Special care should be taken to remove the roots of mutha grass.
– Then rough leveling is done and then the land should be heavily irrigated to get the soil settled down.
– A second watering is necessary after a fortnight to determine the high and low areas.
– Vegetations which might have come out by this time should be weeded out and the land is leveled when the soil is workable.
– In small areas leveling by eye estimation is enough. For large areas, this can be done by placing pegs and strings. It is always advised to keep the level of the lawn 5cm below the level of paths and drive way.
Manure and fertilizer application
– If the soil is originally fertile it is better not to apply any organic manure. As organic manure contains weed seeds which may contaminate the lawn with weeds which difficult to remove.
– But poor soil will need dressing with organic manure. A 3cm layer of sieved compost or farmyard manure or cow dung manure should be evenly sprayed on the surface along with 1kg bone meal per 10m2 and mixed 10 – 15cm deep into the soil.
– The land should then be sprinkled with water to encourage germination of seed, nut, rhizome etc., brought in with the manure.
– The young vegetation should be hand weeded followed by leveling with 2m long angle iron piece. Now the land is ready for planting.
Selection of grasses
– The most suitable grass is the dub grass.
– The Kentucky blue grass or China grass which is nothing but a fine strain of dub.
– This grass is of very fine texture and gives a soft carpet – like feeling when laid as lawn. The color is blue-green. This grass grows best in full sun.
– For shady area carpet grass i.e., Chapa grass ( Axonopus campestris ) may be used.
Planting of lawn grass
– Lawn grass should be planted during the early rains by adopting one of the following methods.
a) Seed sowing
a) Seed sowing
– The soil surface is scratched to a depth of 2.5cm with a garden rake.
– After sowing seed, the land is then mulched with cut straw pieces. Seeds germinate within a week and seedlings come out through the mulch. This straw decomposes after some time.
– Seeds of dub grass are sometimes sown to raise a lawn.
– In this method dub grass is collected either from a lawn or from the side of a metal road. Off-types and undesirable species are picked and discarded before planting.
– A bunch of 5 – 6 stems is taken and planted in small holes made in the soil by a khurpi.
-The soil is pressed down hard after planting each bunch. Planting distance is 15 x 15cm.
– The land should be irrigated after planting if a rain is not expected soon.
– A paste is prepared by mixing garden soil, fresh cow dung and water. Bits of chopped-up fresh roots and stems of dub grass are mixed with the paste and the paste is spread evenly on the surface of the ground after moistening the soil.
– The paste is then covered by spreading 2 layers of dry soil and watered at regular intervals.
– This is the quickest method of developing a lawn.
– Turf is a piece of earth of about 5cm thickness with grass thickly grown over it. The pieces may be of small quarter or in rolls of small width ( 30cm or so ).
– The turfs must be free from weed.
– These should be laid closely to each other in the ground, like bricks in a wall.
– Along the joints, sandy soil should be filled as packing.
– The turf thus laid is made firm by a wooden beater. The grass is then watered.
Maintenance of lawn
– The various aspects of maintenance are stated below:
– It should be done at regular intervals. Mutha grass should be removed with the roots and rhizomes.
All weeds should be uprooted and never be allowed to seed.
– The growth of moss is the indication of acidity. Powdered chalk or lime @ 250g/m2 should be applied.
– After liming watering should be done.
c) Rolling, mowing and sweeping
– Mowing should be followed by rolling. Interval of mowing depends on the season.
– The grass should not be allowed to grow more than 5 – 6cm in length in any season
– Sweeping is essential after each mowing.
– It is given as and when necessary.
e) Scraping and raking
– Scraping is followed by raking to break the hard crust.
f) Top dressing with compost and fertilizer
– After scraping leaf mould is to be applied, bone meal @ 100g and NaSO4 @ 100g.