2 Ways to Make a Lawn in Your Garden
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Published by TOP4 Team
There are two ways of making a lawn — laying a turf or sowing seed. Turf is for people in a hurry who don't mind paying, while seed is for those who aren't in a hurry and mind paying. Either way, the initial stages are much the same — clear the debris, old tree roots and any weeds or couch grass and so on, and dig the site over to a spade's depth to break up the soil and aid drainage. Old turfs should be buried grass side down.
Here are the things that you need to know about making a lawn.
Ideally, leave the site clear for three months, spraying or hoeing and digging out weeds as they appear, and removing stones. On heavy clay, improve fertility and drainage with a bucket of well-rotted manure or compost and two buckets of coarse sand to each square per metre. Improve the water holding ability of light, sandy soils by raking in a bucket of well composted, weed-free organic matter or peat to the square metre. Meantime, the weather can work upon the site, helping to break down clods and consolidate the ground.
Check what kinds of weeds come up and make certain to eradicate things like nut grass, onion weed and oxalis or your effort will degenerate into a nightmare. Plan your lawn, allowing for paths and beds. On the whole, it's best to shun neat rectangles and to add interest instead with bays and curves. If you want to build paths, or put a concrete mowing strip around the edges of the lawn, construct them at this stage.
Now is the time to make the final preparations — breaking up remaining clods, treading the ground to firm it, and raking the soil to make a fine tilth. By the time you finish, the ground should be flat and the surface layer should be about the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Turfing is best done from autumn to early spring. This give the turfs time to settle before they begin their spring growth. It can be done at other times, even in mid-summer, provided you water the grass on a daily or even thrice daily basis in heatwave conditions.
When laying turfs, work forwards so as not to disturb the soil, and kneel on a plank while doing so. Lay turfs in a staggered pattern, as when laying bricks, and closely lay rolls of turf. Fill cracks between the turfs or rolls by brushing a light textured sandy soil into them. Roll the turfed site lightly with the back roller of a mower, and brush it also lightly to lift the blade of grass and finally water it thoroughly with a sprinkler.
Unlike turfing, sowing is best carried out in spring and early summer. Lightly rake the ground to create a fine tilth at least 5cm deep. Spread superphosphate at the rate of 6kg per 100sqm and water it in. Then sow the seed at a rate of about 45g to the square metre — though if you're using proprietary mixture, follow the supplier's instructions.
Ensure even coverage by marking out metre strips with string and sowing half the seed down the strips and the other half across. Gently rake so as just to cover the seeds. Don't roll the ground — you will compact it or pick up seeds on the roller. Leave the lawn, merely watering it with a fine sprinkler, until the grass is about 3-4cm high; then roll it with a light roller or the back of a cylinder mower.
About six weeks after sowing, the grass will be about 3-5cm long — and ready for its first cut. Brush the lawn lightly to get rid of debris and wormcasts, and cut with the blades set 2-3cm high. Thereafter, gradually lower the blades until the grass is the height you want.
Make your garden a beautiful one with the help of gardening experts.