Emerald, dense, smooth, springy underfoot — this is the kind of lawn that every homeowner dreams of, meticulously selecting a mixture of cereals, carefully preparing the plot and carefully sowing their lawn. In fact, everything just begins here, because the care of the lawn is no less, and perhaps more, important than the correct laying of it.
They say half the success is getting the right lawn mower. But at the same time, the haircut that takes the most time is just one of a number of mandatory care operations. In addition, the lawn has many enemies — from earthworms to your favorite dog. Today we will look at how to deal with all this, so that the «emerald» lawn pleases, and does not add a headache.
Preparing the soil for sowing
Choosing a place for the future lawn, first of all lay engineering networks (if you plan to install an automatic irrigation system) and arrange drainage. It is necessary if water stagnates on the site after snow and rain.
The next stage is to clear the area of unnecessary shrubs, trees, as well as old stumps, roots, branches, leaves, stones and remnants of construction debris. Then follows the destruction of weeds. If necessary, the land is treated with chemical means.
In warm and humid weather, weed seeds may re-sprout, so re-treatment may be required. Digging the soil is also a crucial stage. It is best to use a shovel for this — so you get the highest quality result. The soil must be treated to a depth of 25 cm (on the bayonet of the shovel), while breaking large clods into small ones. If the fertile layer is shallow (less than 15 cm), add fertile soil (from 10 m3 per 100 m2). Average fertile soils are considered optimal for a lawn. In heavy soil add sand (10-15 kg per 1 m2), in light — peat (4-5 kg per 1 m2). At the same time, when digging, fertilizers are applied to the soil (20-30 g per 1 m2). You can add compost, but not manure, which always contains weed seeds.
To create the correct water-air regime for the future lawn, after preparing the soil, you should level and pass over the site with a special roller. This will help the seeds get in better contact with the ground when sowing and ensure uniform shoots.
Sowing seeds for the lawn
About 2-3 kg of lawn mix is required per 100 m2. Seeds are scattered around the site in short movements. You can sow some of them by going across the site, and another part — along the site.
After sowing, cover the seeds with earth using a rake: otherwise, remaining on the surface of the soil, they will dry up or get to the birds. You can sprinkle them with a layer of peat, slightly compacting it on top. Seeds will begin to sprout ten days after planting, and can do it unevenly. Do not worry: different herbs sprout and sprout in different ways. Do not walk on the lawn until the grass reaches a height of 8-10 cm.
When the grass sprouts approaches an important part — mowing the lawn
So, there were shoots and a young lawn was designated. When the grass grows up to 5-8 cm, it is rolled with a roller or trampled underfoot for better rooting and the formation of new shoots. After a few days, the seedlings will rise, grow to about 10-12 cm, and it will be time for the first mowing. Lawn mower knives are installed so that the tops of the grass are cut by only 1 cm. If the lawn is sown in the fall the grass is not mowed until the end of the year at all. During spring sowing, if the weather is hot, during the first time of mowing it is better to cut the grass, removing the container for collecting grass from the lawn mower, so that the cut greens are evenly scattered on the lawn, this mulch will protect young cereals from overheating. In the future, regular mowings are carried out, gradually lowering the knives to the desired height.
But what height is considered necessary? This depends on the type of lawn: decorative lawn from narrow-leaved cereals in the summer is cut to a height of 1.5 cm, and in the spring, autumn or drought-2 cm; ordinary-2-3 cm.
Important detail: if the lawn grows above 3.8 cm, then broad-leaved cereals begin to displace narrow-leaved ones. The sports lawn, like other lawns with a high degree of load, can maintain a height of 3-4 cm. In shady areas, the grass is cut at least 5 cm.
How often should you cut the grass? The general rule is: cut as soon as the grass is one and a half times of the desired height. If it is possible to devote more time to care, then mowings are carried out when the grass is 1.5 cm higher than the desired height.
The regularity of mowing is important: if the lawn is neglected, not mowed for 2-3 weeks, and then cut to the required height, then the grass will weaken, there will be bald spots that will immediately capture weeds and mosses. Therefore, in such cases, firstly cut only the tops of overgrown cereals, a few days later you can cut the grass shorter, and the third time you can already mow to the desired height.
To make the lawn look neat, after mowing with garden scissors, a trimmer or special machines the grass is mowed along its edges, which is not captured by the lawn mower.
And another important method of care: sweeping the lawn with a plastic broom before cutting, raises and» builds «the grass, so that the surface of the lawn after cutting looks more smooth and «velvet».
Before the first spring mowing, the lawn is not swept, but cleaned with rake. Also the shoots of creeping weeds are lifted before cutting with a fan rake with springy teeth, so that shoots fall under the mower’s knives. The lawn mowing season ends when the autumn temperature drops to 10 °C.
The Lawn — Pure Emerald
To make the grass bright green, it must be watered, fertilized and ventilated. 10 gallons of water evaporates from 1 m2 of lawn within a week! That’s why watering is so important to it. For a mature lawn, the first sign of drought is the drying of the soil to a depth of 10 cm. the External sign of drying is that the grass loses its elasticity. If the lawn is not watered when it happens, it will turn gray-green, and then turn yellow. The frequency of watering depends on the weather and soil, but in dry weather it is watered on average once a week.
It is better to water lawns with sprinklers. Water should penetrate into the soil to a depth of 10 cm. To estimate how long watering should last, place 5-6 half-liter cans on the lawn and mark after how long they will be filled with water at 1.3 cm. This will be the minimum watering time. After a week of drought, watering should be 1.5 — 2 times longer. Young lawn requires very careful hydration during all season. However, in any case, you can not over-water the lawns everyday or every other day — this only stimulates the growth of mosses. Between watering, the soil should dry out so that the grass roots get enough air for their development.
It should also be borne in mind that some lawn weeds are more resistant to drought, and on a poorly moistened lawn they will begin to displace cereals.
Fertilizing and Aeration Lawn
To keep the lawn bright green, it is important to fertilize. The use of a complex fertilizer does not just improve the color of the grass but it becomes thicker, which prevents the penetration of weeds into the turf.
Fertilize the lawn is mandatory in the spring, in the summer — it is desirable if in June and July the grass loses its brightness and freshness, in the autumn only that lawns which are affected by the summer drought are fertilized. Lawn grass is the fastest to » eat » nitrogen reserves in the soil, slower-phosphorus and potassium. Therefore, in the spring, a complex nitrogen fertilizer (potassium humate, ammonium sulfate) is applied.
In summer usually ammonium sulfate or liquid fertilizers, such as Humic Acid which contents more than 18 amino acids, 11 vitamins, nearly all the range of known micro and macro elements are used. In autumn — superphosphate, potassium sulfate. There are also special complex autumn and spring fertilizers for the lawn. When applying dry fertilizer, half of it is dispersed by passing the lawn along, the other half-moving in a perpendicular direction. Liquid fertilizers are watered from a watering can.
The grass must be dry before fertilizing, and the ground must be wet. After feeding, the lawn is watered. During a long drought, it is not recommended to carry out fertilizing.
We should say that Potassium Humate is pet harmless, this is important especially for those people who have cats and dogs.
Airing, or aeration of the lawn — is the creation of punctures with the help of hayforks, through which air is supplied to a depth of 5-8 cm. This operation is carried out once a year, and if you use a special hayfork with hollow teeth (they create wider holes) — every 3 years.
You should not pierce the entire lawn, but only those places where there are signs of soil compaction: water stagnates after rain, irrigation, the grass quickly turns brown in dry weather, you notice the growing of creeping moss, the grass loses its elasticity or is trampled. Aeration is carried out in September, on wet ground. Before that, the lawn is combed with a heavy rake (scarified). Punctures are made to a depth of at least 8-10 cm, slightly swinging the fork to expand the holes. In addition, for better root respiration in spring and summer, a shallow pricking of the entire lawn to a depth of 1-4 cm with special aerators is also carried out.
It is important to do this operation before applying fertilizers. Piercing destroys the so-called felt — a layer of compacted soil and dry stems about 3 cm thick.
Mulching and other techniques
Professionals advise if you want to have a lawn of high quality, mulch it every fall in mid-September. The goal is to fill in the surface imperfections and build up the top fertile layer. As a result, the grass grows thicker, gives side shoots, the lawn becomes more elastic, resistant to drought and trampling.
A mixture for mulching is prepared from peat, fine sand and sifted through a sieve with cells of 0.5 cm turf humus (or good garden soil): for clay soils, these components are taken in the proportion of 1:4:2, respectively, for loams and sandy soils — 1:2:4.
You should process 1.5 kg of the mixture on 1 m2 of lawn. Then it is recommended to level the soil with the flat back of a wooden rake, and for a large lawn, make a device from a 1.5 m long board with a handle. Before mulching, the lawn is cleaned with a rake, and after leveling the mulch with a broom, the mixture that got on it is swept away from the grass. It is advisable to carry out mulching before the operation of airing the lawn.
Re-planting your green lawn
It is also advisable to replant your lawn from time to time. You will help your grass displace competing weeds by regularly planting your lawn. To give the seeds the best chance of growing, firstly prepare the soil by feeding it with compost. Then protect the lawn from pacing and water it carefully and daily.
Weeds and moss are destroyed as they appear.
Spring is the best time to actively prevent the appearance of weeds by using pre-emergence herbicides. Apply corn gluten – free gluten in late spring and activate it with water. The organic substance will be effective from five to six weeks after each application. Keep in mind that herbicides also prevent any seeds from sprouting, so choose whether you need to plant a green lawn or fight weeds. On lawns where children play, it is better to do it by hand, in other cases, the use of herbicides is acceptable.
Mushrooms-toadstools that often grow on lawns, as well as lichens and algae, as well as lawn diseases (snow mold, red thread) can be conquered only by special chemical means. Even earthworms that «decorate» lawns with small but noticeable piles of earth can cause a lot of trouble. Piles should be swept away with a broom. And to» scare away » worms, increase the acidity of the soil, making, for example, ammonium sulfate and acidic peat. Enemies of the lawn are often our favorite dogs, whose urine leaves brown spots on the grass, bordered by dark green grass. What can you do? In time, abundantly water the «marked» area with a hose, but if time is lost, the grass on such a spot is to be sown.
A typical problem is Browning the tips of the grass after cutting. Possible causes of such a situation are blunt knives or damage to the cutting surface in the lawn mower. But more often this happens because of mowing grass when it is wet.
If you regularly follow all these rules of care, the lawn will be perfect. If you keep only to mowing and fertilizing — in a few years the lawn will become bumpy, spotted and all sorts of weeds, which are sometimes also beautiful will find a shelter in it.
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