Author Jean Morrison
How to grow and maintain a great lawn - tips and hints
Real lawns around your home will help keep your home cooler in summer, whereas synthetic lawns get quite hot.
Lawns have deep roots that hold soil in place during extremely wet weather, hence they resist soil erosion from flooding.
If your lawn is very weedy, compacted, deficient in nutrients or very thatchy it may well pay to remove the lawn and start again.
Growing a new lawn
When laying a new lawn the most important step is to get the soil level to start with. If you don't, you will forever have bald patches where the higher areas have been scalped.
When starting a new lawn there are four ways to go about it. You can:
Seed the area
Plant small cubes of cut lawn in a grid fashion or
Lay rolls of lawn
Rules of starting a new lawn
If you are seeding a lawn scatter half the seed from one direction and then turn at a right angle to scatter the remaining seed.
When using runners from existing lawns use sections that have been under ground and above ground, i.e. sections that have both roots and greenery on them.
If using small cubes of lawn ensure they have plenty of roots attached. Cubes should be about 50 mm (2inches) across. These small cubes will ultimately grow into each other so it is important to have them evenly spaced to obtain the maximum coverage.
When laying rolls of lawn off-set them just as you would lay bricks. Rolls will generally be about 400mm wide by 2 - 3 metres long (1.5 feet by 7 - 8 feet)
Watering lawns to a depth of 100 - 150 mm (4 - 6 inches) encourages strong root growth and it also means more days between watering sessions.
Don't cut your grass too short. This is for several reasons:
Grass grows from the crown - the lowest part that you can see - and not from the tops of the blades. If you mow too low you can damage the crown and stop the grass growing in that area.
Longer grass grows slower than short grass. If you try to keep it too short you will be forever mowing it.
Short grass allows weeds to get a footing far more so than long grass does.
The longer the grass is the more surface area it has and the better it will absorb sunshine to photosynthesize. Hence the healthier it will grow.
Mow your lawn from two different directions. The second direction should be at a ninety degree angle to the first.
Don't cut off more than 1/3 of the height of your grass.
Try only to mow when the lawn is dry.
Keep the mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear at the grass. Damaged grass is less disease resistant. Sharpen the blades 2- 3 times per year.
When fertilizing your lawn scatter the fertilizer on from two different directions, at right angles to each other. This will give more even coverage and prevent the lawn from looking patchy when the fertilizer starts working.
Scatter the fertilizer when the lawn is dry and then immediately water it in well. If you can fertilize just before it rains then that is better still.