The secret to a successful lawn

 Long grass home gardensCompiled by Daniella Favis for Fix Shack’s Home Inspirations. Sources: Lawn-Pro, Builders, Home-Dzine, Gardening Eden, Homemakers Online and Trovato Lawns.

Provide lush, green carpeting for your home garden.

Don’t you love the feeling of freshly-cut, lush green grass between your toes? I’ll bet. But your lawn is looking a little ragged as a result of the hostile climate, irregular rainfall, an invasion of lawn pests, or your children’s outdoor holiday activities? Don’t fret. Lay a lush new lawn for your home garden with these tops tips.

 Home garden: Soil preparation

• Prepare the lawn-laying surface by removing your existing home garden’s lawn with a metal rake (this job will be greatly simplified if the lawn’s soil is moist). Once the old lawn has been removed, get rid of any stones, weeds and vegetative matter on the surface of the soil.
• If your home garden’s soil is sandy, you will need to add some loam to help the soil retain moisture. If it has a clay-like consistency, adding gypsum and loam will help prevent soil compaction. Rocky and shallow soil will require topsoil – mix the topsoil with the soil underneath it, so that the grass’s roots extend beyond the layer of topsoil.
• Using a spade, trim the soil to about 50 mm below any hard surfaces and pathways it meets. This way, your home garden’s lawn will be just below the height of the paving, allowing water to run off the hard surface and onto the lawn.
• Rake the soil area until it is smooth and level – this will give your grass a neat finish and will simplify mowing.
• Purchase a lawn-starter fertiliser (one that has a high phosphorous content) from your local hardware store, spread it over the soil and lightly rake it in.

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Home garden: Lawn laying

• Instant lawn should be laid the same day it is bought or delivered to your home garden. If this is not possible, or if laying is taking place on a very hot day, the lawn should be stored in the shade and kept wet.
• Before laying your home garden’s lawn, moisten the soil.
• Start laying the instant lawn around the entire perimeter of your home garden. If borders are irregular, lay the grass over them and cut away the excess bits later using a spade or a utility knife.
• When laying the rest of the grass, work from the perimeter of the garden towards your home. The grass strips should butt tightly against each other (without overlapping) and should be laid in a staggered brick-like pattern – this helps control weed growth and assists with water drainage. Avoid pulling or stretching the grass strips.
• When laying grass on a hill, start from the bottom of the hill and work your way upwards.
• Seal the exposed edges of the grass on the perimeter of your home garden with top soil to prevent it from drying out.
• On hot days, lay the lawn in sections, watering each section before continuing with a new one. On cool days, your home garden’s lawn can be laid all at once before watering.
• Within an hour of laying your new lawn, walk over it, or roll it with a hired lawn roller in order to remove any air pockets.
• The lawn should be watered every day for at least three weeks. This is critical to help establish the lawn’s roots.
• Mowing can occur three weeks after laying your lawn. Cut only 25% off the grass’s height in the first mow, and gradually cut it shorter after that, until the grass is the level required.
• Fertilizing with lawn food can commence four weeks after lawn laying.

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Home garden: Types of lawn

• Bermuda: This grass tolerates traffic, but not shade.
• Kikuyu: This affordable grass grows fast, but requires full sun.
• Gulf Green: This is a soft, expensive grass that tolerates traffic and grows quite quickly.
• LM Berea: This grass is tolerant of shade, but not of high traffic.
• Buffalo: This grass is the best option for shaded gardens, but is slow-growing.

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Buffalo Gulf Green Kikuyu

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