The lawn is an area of recreational or amenity land planted with grass, which is maintained at a low height. Lawns are a standard feature of ornamental private and public gardens and landscapes in much of the world today. Lawns are created for aesthetic use in gardens, and recreational use, including sports. They are typically planted near homes, often as part of gardens and are also used in other ornamental landscapes and gardens.
Several factors determine how good a lawn will be and these are:
The quality of either the seed or the turf used.
The aftercare provided and the use made of the lawn once established.
Ground preparation is probably the most important as this will determine how well the seed grows or the turf takes. The first step is cleanup. Remove all construction materials such as scrap lumber, gravel, concrete, mortar and brick chips, shingles and other debris. When the planting area is clean, check drainage patterns and runoff of surface water.
Checking the quality of soil
Check the soil for compacted areas by inserting a 6-inch knife blade of a screwdriver. The blade should slip into the soil with minimal effort. If a great effort is required to push the blade into the soil, it is mostly clay or is compacted.
Clay soils must have surface drainage since water movement through the soil is too slow for good grass growth. Companion is often caused by the heavy equipment used by contractors to move soil.
(The soil is squeezed together by the weight of the machinery). Grassroots cannot penetrate the compressed layer, and the root zone is limited to the soil above the compaction. The ground should be dug top at least one spade depth and the subsoil forked over. The hummus is incorporated into the subsoil whilst forking it over.
Preparing the ground to plant grass sods
The forking of this level also helps to improve drainage.After the initial preparation, to remove all plants in the proposed lawn area a non-selective weedicide should be applied and should be kept for some time to remove plants permanently.
Once the ground is prepared, then you need to consider whether you are going to use seed or whether you want to have the instantaneous effect of using turf. Grass sods are used to build lawns.Traditionally a lawn is not suitable under a shade of a tree due to the limitation of the sunlight.
If there is a real requirement of such a lawn under shade, a shade loving grass type should be used.
When building a lawn using grass sods, they are placed on a coir dust layer to provide excess moisture. After placing properly these sods are pressed to ensure proper placement and even distribution. Then watering has to be done.
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The aftercare is as important as the preparation of any new lawn. Regular feeding and watering is important to ensure a good establishment of either seed or turf. Urea application should be done once in a month after mowing the lawn. Mowing is necessary for keeping a quality turf. Mowing should be done in a correct frequency and at the proper height. The frequency and height of cut depend on the type of turf-grass, fertilization program and the amount of rainfall. Normally in home gardens, a buffalo grass lawn should be mowed/trimmed once a month.
Pest and disease control
Pest and disease control is also a significant aftercare operation that should be conducted regularly with regard to lawns in landscaping. Turf-grass damage should be diagnosed as soon as possible.
Damage is often blamed on diseases or insects when climate, environmental conditions, or cultural practices are the real causes.
Tree competition, cutting frequency, herbicide damage, nutrient chloroforms, and soil compaction sometimes cause diseases to develop. Diseases are usually more serve in lawns with a heavy thatch.
Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed leaves, stems and roots at the soil surface. It builds up over several years and restricts the movement of air, water and fertilizers into the soil.
When thatch is heavy, roots are generally shallow, which increases damage from drought.
Several pests can be identified such as Fire ants, Chinch bugs, two-lined spittle-bugs, fall army-worms, white grubs, mole crickets, snail and slugs, Sod web-worms, and Ticks and Fleas. Suitable insecticide should be used to minimize the effects of above insects in a lawn. The bait treatment should be used to control snail and slugs. However, diseases are not prominent in Sri Lanka and there are two major pests, ants and white ants. These pests can control successfully by using the necessary fertilizers.