How to Create a Perfect Lawn
The lawn is the centrepiece of a garden, the canvas against which the rest of the garden is painted. For many gardeners this makes it worth all the mowing, feeding and grooming that a good lawn demands.
If your lawn has to serve as a play area as well, be realistic and sow tough grasses, and settle for a hard-wearing lawn rather than a showpiece. It can still look green and lush- the important consideration from a design viewpoint. Instead of aiming for a bowling-green finish, the shape of the lawn or a striking edging could be its strong visual message.
Before you begin to learn How to Create a Perfect Lawn, note that the ideal season for making a lawn is the end of monsoons; as the ground needs to be dug, cleared of weeds, drained and brought to a fine tilth.
Working With Circular Lawns:
- Circular lawns can be very effective. Several circular lawns, linked by areas of paving, such as cobbles, work well in a long, narrow garden.
- If the garden is very small, all you will have space for is a single circular lawn. If you make it the centrepoint with beds around it that become deeper towards the corner of the garden, you will be able to combine small trees and tall shrubs at the back with smaller shrubs and herbaceous plants in front.
- To add interest, include a couple of stepping-stone paths that ed to a hidden corner.
Using Rectangular Lawn:
- Rectangular lawns can look boring, but sometimes they can be made more interesting by extending another garden feature- such as a patio or flower bed– into them to produce an L-shaped lawn.
- Alternatively, include an interesting feature such as birdbath or sundial (often better towards one side or end of the lawn than in the middle). A water feature is another good way to break up a boring rectangle of grass.
An Angled Lawn:
- If you have chosen a diagonal theme for your design, you will probably want to set your lawn at an angle to the house so that it fits in with the other features.
- The same rectangle of lawn becomes much more interesting when set at an angle of about 45 degrees.
- By lifting and patching the lawn, you may be able to achieve this without having to start from scratch.
- A sweeping lawn with bays and curves where the flower borders ebb and flow is very attractive.
- It is difficult to achieve in a small garden. However, you can bring out a border in a large curve so the grass disappears around the back.
- You may be able to do this by extending the border into an existing rectangular lawn.
Changing Height with Lawn:
- If you have to create an impression in a small space, try a raised or sunken lawn.
- The step does not have to be large- 15-23cm (6-9in) is often enough.
- If making a sunken lawn, always include a mowing edge so that you can use the mower right up to the edge of the grass.
DIY How to Create a Mowing Edge:
If flowers tumble out of your borders, or there is a steep edge that makes mowing difficult, lay a mowing edge of bricks or paving slabs.
- Mark out the area of grass to be lifted using the paving as a guide. Lift the grass where you want to lay the paved edge. To keep the new edge straight, use a half-moon edger against the paving slab. Then lift the grass to be removed by slicing it off with a spade.
- Make a firm base by compacting gravel or a mixture of sand and gravel where the paving is to be laid. Use a plank of wood to ensure it is level. Allow for the thickness of the paving and a few blobs of mortar.
- It is best to bed the edging on mortar for stability, but as it will not be taking a heavy weight just press the slabs onto blobs of mortar and tap level (use a spirit-level to double-check).
Keeping a Trim Edge
- Circular lawns must be edged properly.
- Nothing looks worse than a circle that isn’t circular, and of course constant trimming back will eat into the lawn over the years.
- To avoid this, incorporate a firm edging, such as bricks placed on nd and mortared into position, when you make the lawn. Where the edges are straight use proprietary lawn edging the strips. Read about how to maintain a lawn.
Lawn grasses for India: Doob grass (Cynodon) for open sunny locations, Paspalum grass for semi shady areas. In monsoon season, lawn can be grown by sowing the grass seeds. Click here to buy doob grass seed online in India.
Reference: Practical Gardening by Peter McHoy
Gardening in India by G. Marshall Woodrow