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How to create the perfect lawn

  13/09/2013 at 13:11 pm

When it comes to kerb appeal there is nothing more appealing, than a neatly cut lawn with green stripes and not a weed in sight. And before we go any further, stripes on lawns do not come from grass seed, but from mowing in alterative directions with a roller on the back of the lawn mower.

Why is there a compulsion for many gardeners to have the perfect lawn? It is said that the garden is an extension of your living room; hence you would like the outdoor area to look as good as the interior. We must look at when you build a house; we excavate and pour foundations to support the house, as inadequate ground preparation would lead to structure failure. Well the same rule applies with preparing to sow new lawns. Failure to prepare and we must be prepared to fail and this is most evident in many lawns pertaining to new housing developments.

The biggest problems associated with new lawns is inadequate drainage which leads to water logging, which in turn leads to moss growth and yellowing of grass. I remember been asked to look at a front lawn to see why it was turning yellow. When I removed just 5cm (2”) of top soil, I discovered concrete breeze blocks and builders rubble. The only solution was to remove the debris and add good quality top soil.

Let’s get real and ask yourself, do you really have the time and the commitment associated in maintaining the classic striped Wimbledon lawn. These lawns will not stand up to constant foot fall, and are easily damaged by children playing on them. You will also have to provide more care and feeding, so perhaps leave this to the green keepers who have the time and the equipment. Depending on what generation you are from, the seed for these lawns was always known as a No 1 seed mix.(Finest Lawn Seed)

The two most important reasons why many people sow lawns are for entertaining purposes and to be able to provide a safe recreational area for children to play on. Bearing this in mind the new lawn must be able to stand up to constant wear and withstand moderate neglect and bad maintenance. This tough wearing lawn seed was always referred to as No2 seed mix (Multi Purpose Lawn Seed)

To do list:

1. September is one of the best months to plant new and repair existing lawns. Tip: Preparation is the key to success. Soil must be free from annual and perennial weeds using a glysophate-based weed killer, which will kill all weeds and grass. Remember glysophate based weed killers can only be applied when weeds are actively growing, hence they can not be used after September

2. Before planting seed you must prepare a fine soil tilth and this can only be achieved by first digging soil over, then rotivating until all lumps are broken down. Tip: All stones must be removed from seed bed as they will cause problems later on when mowing. For larger lawns stone-buriers can be used, and these along with rotivators are available for hire at very competitive prices. Soil must be firmed in; this can be achieved by using a garden roller.

3. Lawn seed should be applied at a rate of 33g/m2 for new lawns and 25g/m2 for repairing lawns. After seeding lightly rake in seed then give final rolling. Tip: New lawns should watered carefully when necessary and especially when seed has germinated which is usually about 5 to 10 days after sowing. Do not apply weed killers or moss killers to new lawns less than one year old, as this may cause damage

By Eamonn Wall