Creating a Lawn of Beauty from Scratch


Image by koocbor used under the Creative Commons license.

A beautiful lawn of healthy green grass is something that can take years to cultivate but getting it right isn’t as hard as you think. If you’re lawn isn’t exactly a thing of beauty and seems to be a minefield of bumps and magnet for weeds then it may be time to begin again and start from scratch, so you can be the purveyor of your own garden masterpiece.

Clear the pitch

Preparing the ground is probably the hardest part of the lawn process because it includes getting rid of weeds and any debris lying around. It can take anywhere from a fortnight to a month to kill weeds using a glyphosate weed killer; pull perennials up by hand and hoe those annuals post-germination. The hard work doesn’t stop there as the next step is to dig, turn and level your soil, and this includes stripping any humps and removing the soil from your lawn area. Finally, rake the entire area to eliminate large stones before applying fertiliser and flattening the surface before a last re-raking to mix in the fertiliser.

Begin your seeding

You can take a slight breather after the ground work because the next step is planting your garden lawn seeds. You will have a variety to choose from; garden centres will be able to help you choose the right seeds for your property and your needs. Varieties can include hard-wearing grass or ones specifically for shady or dry areas. The seeds need to be scattered evenly; a good rule of thumb is a large handful(35g) to one square yard or metre. Make sure your coverage is even and gently rake them into the soil. Keep the ground moist until germination occurs.

Maintaining your lawn

Yes, that little lawn of yours will need regular care and attention including regular watering, especially during dry and hot weather. The grass should begin to appear within only a few weeks if the conditions have been good and you can begin your first cut once it has reached a height of around two inches – cut the tips only. Your lawn needs to become strong and healthy, and you should avoid using any weed killers or nitrogen fertilisers in the first six months. Remember not to mow the grass too much; go for just a light trim but take care as the young roots can be easily damaged.

Keep it healthy

Weeds and pests can certainly cause damage throughout the year so it’s important to eliminate these elements without damaging the grass. An easy way to get rid of weeds is to actually grow them with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, which will make them easier to uproot or kill with weed killer and won’t harm the rest of your lawn. To get rid of pests such as leatherjackets you need to water your grass during the evening, cover it with plastic sheeting and by the next day you’ll find these pests above ground ready to be eaten by birds. Red thread disease will leave unsightly patches on your lawn and you can rectify this by using grass fertilizer and giving the ground a going over with a pitchfork during the spring.

Aside from the initial preparation you don’t need to undertake too much back-breaking work to achieve that perfect lawn. Regular cutting is of course necessary and always remember to rake up those dead leaves during the autumn and winter months to avoid bleached patches and pests.

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