A lawn is an important part of the landscape. It expresses man’s relationship to the ground and also provides a sense of repose, grace and refinement to the mind. A lush green lawn, uniformly levelled and free from weeds removes fatigue and is a treat to the eyes. It holds in the soil and supports it from wind and water erosion. Grass helps check noise pollution and emits oxygen during the night.
There is perhaps no branch of gardening so simple and so important that is so neglected in India. It is common to see good gardens spoiled by patchy and irregular lawn growth.
Conditions under which a good grass surface is unattainable:
- When it is under constant shade from a building or trees.
- When the soil is alkaline ( soil salinity can be controlled by the addition of lime and sulphur.)
- when there is hard water.
- When there is water logging.
- When there is shortage of water.
Lawn Planting Steps
Grass can be planted during hot weather provided an irrigation facility is there. Under North Indian conditions it cannot be planted from November to February due to the cold weather. In regions which are subjected to drought grass should be planted during the rains.
A site should be selected where there is at least 5 hours of morning sun and ideally it should face east to south. The site should be free of weeds, stubble, roots, both whole and broken pieces of stone and should have a normal sweet soil.
To prepare the soil, dig it to a depth of 18 inches and leave it exposed to the sun and air for the development of beneficial bacteria. Keep forking the soil and remove all the weeds, nuts etc. If the soil is badly infested with nut grass or motha, repeatedly fork it and collect all the nuts and burn them.
Make beds for the grass plants and flood with water to allow consolidation. Consolidation is essential so that undulations in the site can settle and the lawn can be level. After consolidation apply vermicompost( 4 bags per 1000 sq.ft) or ¼ inches of well decayed cow dung over the surface. Your land is now ready to receive the grass. Plant the grass by dibbling, seed sowing or by turfing. Turfing is costlier but the lawn is ready within a week.
There are many grasses available for making a lawn:
- Calcutta Doob
- Mexican grass
- Nilgiri grass (best for shade)
Grass should be irrigated by sprinkling water over the surface on alternate days. Within 50 days the grass will start to grow. After the grass has sprouted to 1 ½ inches in height then cut it with a lawn mower. Let all the cut grass fall on the lawn. This will help the grass to grow very fast. This should be repeated two or three times. After this all cut grass should be put in the manure heap. This manure will be ready in about 45 days and makes the best manure for a lawn.
Forking and manuring of the grass is done to renovate the grass in a lawn. It should be done yearly during or after the rains. Apply Neem oil cake and fertilisers as detailed below:
- Four bags of vermicompost per 1000 sq. ft. during September – October
- 100g Neem oil cake per 10000 sq. ft.
- 25 kg Agro meal per 10000 sq. ft.
- 25 kg Bone meal per 10000 sq. ft.
- ½ kg per 100 sq. ft. of a mixture of urea, superphosphate and potash in the ratios 3:2:1
- Apply urea 2 g/litre as a spray twice in the season.
- Apply 500g ferrous sulphate / 100 litres water as a spray once in the season.
- If there is hard water then apply 50 kg sulphur dust per acre.
- Apply 200 – 500g gypsum to check the alkalinity.
Keep chealing, manuring, forking, weeding, watering and mowing and enjoy a green weed free lawn. Wishing you happy gardening.