Gardening for wildlife

The garden lawn

Ms.Promila Chaturvedi is a freelance landscape designer whose organization "Gardens India" undertakes a number of projects in landscaping and gardening.

The lawn forms a strip of green sward to a formal garden-closely cut grass, and also rough uncut green stretch. The lawn is an integral and distinctive part of any garden

How to create a lawn: The lawn should properly laid otherwise it becomes a source of worry and disappointment. So proper care should be taken while laying a lawn. The drainage is an important aspect of any garden to be taken into account. At the end of February or before monsoon the ground should be dug 18in deep. All the stone, weeds and other unserviceable material should be removed. Expose the clod of soil to sun for few weeks to kill the weeds and sterile the soil. Then break the clods, mix 10 kg well-decayed manure per meter sq. to the soil. Flood the area in February, or in monsoon after first shower let the soil settle. Remove weeds that have come up after water. Dress the area well before the grassing is done. Grass it with any of the following methods.

From seeds- these days this method is rarely followed. For a hectare 30kg seeds are required. The seeds should be sown evenly and thinly on a windless day. The lawn should be covered with light soil and be watered with a nozzle in hosepipe with very light pressure. Few times cut the grass with scythe. Lawn mower should be used only when grass roots started spreading and well established. This is the slowest method for making a lawn. It takes three to four months for grass to cover the whole area.

By dibbling- small roots should be dibbled at 4in distance when the ground is well moist. Water it. The grass roots will spread under the surface. The lawn will be ready in 3-4 months time. It will need frequent mowing, rolling and watering for good results. This is the usual method for grassing. It takes almost a month for the lawn to be ready.

Turfing- turf –the pieces of earth with compact grass on them. It should be cut evenly in 1ft: 2ft size from the area where the grass is low, weed free and compact. These pieces should be spread on soil like a carpet touching closely and evenly each other on a well-prepared surface. The cavities should be filled by soil and manure mix. This method of grassing gives instant effect, though most expensive out of the three methods.

After laying a lawn from any of the above methods, mowing, rolling, watering, manuring and repairing patches on regular basis will keep the lawn in good shape.

The cost of laying a lawn varies from place to place and the competence of the party who is laying it. A gardener can also do the job but the results may not be very satisfying in a long run.

Under the shade of building or of a tree grass does not do well. On one very broad blade grass can survive the shade.

Types of grass are the same for North or South India. It is only the choice of the person.

Once the lawn is laid it does not need relaying for years.

(Picture shows close up of Bermuda grass.)

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