Growing Doob grass: Lord Ganesha’s favourite ‘Durva’
Doob grass is a very popular grass species, which is native to the Indian subcontinent. Scientifically known as Cynodon dactylon, belonging to family Poaceae (Grass family); this grass is known by many common names like ‘Indian doob grass‘, ‘Durva’, ‘Bermuda grass’, ‘Hariyali’ etc. It is found growing naturally all over India on roadsides, open grasslands, farmlands, and backyards; easy to spot & identify.
Story of Lord Ganesha:
The story of Lord Ganesha & Durva grass is fascinating. It says that there lived a demon known as ‘Analasur’ who used to trouble the sages and saints. Fed up of this demon, all the gods requested Lord Ganesh for help. To protect the world, Lord Ganesha swallowed the whole beast. But, as soon as he did so, he felt severe burning sensation. The feeling was so intense that he couldn’t bear it at all. Kashyap Muni & other sages showered 21 stacks of Durva grass all over Ganesha’s body and soon he was relieved of the suffering. Since then it became Ganesha’s favorite herb; hence it is a household ritual to offer Durva grass stacks during every ‘Ganesh Poojan’.
Durva Medicinal Properties:
Durva is a highly medicinal grass of immense importance in Ayurveda. It is used externally as well as internally to relieve stress, headaches, body heat, irritation of eyes, bloody nose, ulcers, acidity, Ascites, stomach ache, skin diseases, and fevers. It is said that even mere walking barefoot on a doob grass carpet is therapeutic & healing in nature. Cats & dogs often chew on Durva grass for relief, whenever they feel sick.
Doob grass lawn:
Doob grass is the most used lawn grass in India. This grass thrives well in hot, sunny weather & it doesn’t grow properly under shade. Many new forms of Doob grass are exclusively developed for lawn carpet. The lawn can be developed by turfing, turf plastering, dibbling (planting grass roots) or seed sowing.
Following is the procedure of planting doob grass lawn by seed sowing method:
- Select an open sunny location for making a lawn. Preferably at southern side of garden.
- Prepare the ground by thorough digging (45-60 cm), remove stones, weeds & other debris.
- Add good quality cow manure to the ground & mix it with soil.
- Make 15 cm surface layer of fine soil & level the land properly.
- Get the Doob grass (Carpet lawn) seeds from a reliable source. Around 500 gm seed is required for 200 sq. m. Area.
- Since seeds are small & powder like, they are mixed with a double amount of sand.
- Prior to sowing, the surface is scratched to a depth of 2.5 cm with the help of garden rake.
- The seed-sand mixture is broadcasted evenly all over the ground.
- For bigger lawns, total area should be divided into equal plots of 200 to 300 sq.mt. to ensure even sowing of seeds.
- Avoid seeding procedure during the days of heavy rains. The sowing should be preferably undertaken on a windless day.
- After sowing is completed, the rake is drawn lightly twice in opposite directions to mix up the seeds.
- It will be advisable to cover the seeds with thin layer of finely sifted soil.
- Watering is done daily by the hose pipe fitted with fine nozzle to keep the surface moist.
- After first watering, a light rolling should be done.
- The seeds start germinating three weeks after seeding.
- If germination is poor or patchy the re-seeding should be done to cover such areas.
- There is a belief that seeds sown within two days of full moon gives best gemination and stronger growth.
- When the grass is about 5 cm tall, it is clipped with pair of garden shears.
- Initially lawn mower is not used as this will uproot the grass.
- It takes 5-6 months to develop lush green doob grass lawn by this method.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!