Do not choose your lawn at random; you must know which type of grass is best for you. Unfortunately, it is not enough to choose the right seeds to successfully create your lawn. One must also know how to adequately prepare the ground that will receive the seeds, how to choose the sowing time period most likely to increase the chances of success and, finally, how to carry out the appropriate maintenance once the lawn has been successfully created.

Before even purchasing the seeds, first determine what purpose your future lawn will serve and the environment in which you consider planting. The knowledge of these two parameters will allow you to easily refine your choices in regard to all the decisions that will need to be taken.

Choice of lawn

The English lawn is especially recommended for its aesthetic side. Thus, it is recommended to select this type of grass if you seek to achieve an ornamental lawn. If you plan to make your lawn a playground or a passage, it is better to sow grass adapted to sports and games that will withstand all the intensive trampling it undergoes. Hardy grass is suitable for all soil types. Mediterranean hardy grass is ideal if the area to grow is continuously exposed to sunlight. For less sunny areas, you can find grasses specifically adapted to the shade.

Ground preparation

The first step is to remove the existing vegetation. Glyphosate-based herbicides are the most effective solution and allow you to sow after 3 weeks of treatment. Once weeding is done, deeply feed the soil with a complete fertilizer, or amendments if this takes place in the fall, or planting fertilizer if it is during the spring period. At least one week before planting, plough your field to a depth of 8 inches (20 cm) using a self-propelled rotary cultivator or a simple spade. Then, use a garden claw to level, remove debris and break the clods. The quality of the seedbed is mainly the result of a good levelling. Once it is completed, plug the holes with a shovel to better level the ground, flatten the earth, rid it of stones one more time and finally rake the surface. It is advisable to carry out all these operations several times to obtain a fine one-inch (2 to 3 cm) thick layer of soil that is favourable to seeding.

Seeding methods

Start by mixing the seeds in the box and outlining your plot of land so as not to risk planting twice in the same places and forgetting others. Trace out perpendicular horizontal and vertical lines that go from one end of the terrain to the other. Sow half the seeds in one direction and the other half in the opposite direction by doubling the amount of seeds on the border to highlight the edge and give it a denser effect. It is also recommended to directly mix an anti-ant product with the seeds to sow. It is now essential to lightly cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is no thicker than 1/3 of an inch (1 cm) at the risk of choking them. In addition, make sure that the seeds do not cluster together. To favour contact between the seeds and the soil, roll the ground dry and the first shoots will appear within two to three weeks.

Maintaining your lawn

If you’re at your first mowing, wait until the grass reaches 4 inches (10 cm) in height. Make sure that the blade is very sharp and mow to a height of 2 or 2.5 inches (5 or 6 cm). Exceptionally this one time, roll on the ground to favour root contact with the soil. It is strongly advised not to mow lawns when they are wet and to always check that the blades are sharp enough. From the beginning of winter, vegetation starts to slow down and for that reason mowing is not useful or recommended. To avoid mosses and humus, do not forget to clean up the debris after mowing. In summer, prefer watering in the evening with a thin mist to a depth of 4 inches (10cm) for a thorough wetting. Once a year, air out your lawn and treat it with an anti-moss product. Furthermore, regularly restore your lawn’s damaged areas.

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Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011