Lawn: Why and How to Grow It in Your Garden
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Published by TOP4 Team
Lawns have been a feature of home garden for centuries. Here’s why and how you should grow lawns.
Why grow a lawn?
- It’s the best way to cover and maintain large sections of garden easily and quickly.
- The initial cost of establishment is relatively low and it will last indefinitely.
- It blends the house with the garden, softens harsh outlines, and complements trees, shrubs and colourful annuals.
- An attractive lawn adds a touch of spaciousness, even in the smallest garden.
- On hot summer days, it reduces temperature and glare to give a feeling of coolness.
- It’s a place for relaxation, pleasant to look at, delightful to walk or lie on, and the ideal surface for children to romp and play.
In many respects, a lawn is an unnatural way to grow millions of grass plants which are all competing for light, water and nutrients. We cut them constantly, which makes their growth more difficult. We remove grass clippings every time we mow, which is an added drain on soil nutrients. Fortunately, lawn grasses are well adapted to this harsh treatment and will thrive if you understand their needs and go about providing for them in the right way.
How to grow lawns
- Always shape the lawn area with flowing curves, as curves are easier to water and to mow than square or sharp corners. Small beds, specimen trees or shrubs, and very steep slopes are also hard to mow. Concrete mower strips adjacent to gravel paths, driveways, gardens, rockeries or other features will reduce edge clipping enormously. It’s best to construct mower strips or paving after the lawn has been established and there’s no longer any risk of lawn subsidence.
- Avoid growing grass to the building line. Pathways or paving adjacent to walls are better, because they eliminate wetting and drying effects in the foundation area when watering the lawn. Grass that is grown under overhanging eaves misses out on rain and will need extra watering.
- Avoid heavily shaded areas for lawns, especially the southern side of buildings, beside fences or underneath dense shrubs or trees. Trying to grow grass under trees has limited success, because there is competition for moisture, nutrients and light. These areas are best paved or separated from the lawn by a mower strip and covered with gravel, pebbles or pine bark.
- Avoid growing grass in situations liable to excessive wear (that is, at the corners of buildings, outside doorways and so on). Paths or paving are the best solution, although a few stepping stones may be enough to solve the traffic problem.
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