The grass! If there is one indispensable element to any garden, it is this one.
Unless you live near the desert, I think you can not imagine a garden without lawn .
Close your eyes and think about this green rug, cut short, very dense on which you want to walk barefoot. An entire program.
Now open your eyes and look at your outdoor space. Does this description correspond to your lawn? Despite what many people think, having a beautiful lawn is far from being the simplest thing in a landscaping .
Some people have finally resigned themselves. They are content with a space that looks more like a meadow than a golf green.
Others still want to believe it and try somehow to maintain it, but it seems like an endless chore.
Finally, there are those who put money aside and who, every 10 years, call on a landscaper to remake their lawn and swear that this time they will talk enough. Because we must be clear, if a beautiful grass makes us all dream, its maintenance may seem complex and especially time consuming .
And that’s the problem. At the creation of the garden, we do not hesitate to include large surfaces of lawn, because it is not too expensive to the realization and we think that the maintenance comes down to pass the mower a dozen times a year. Then, one realizes that mowing, even if it is an indispensable and recurring task, it is not enough to converse his pretty carpet over the years. Other interventions are necessary and some require a minimum of knowledge.
Now, you probably think that the answer under this article “should we put grass in his garden? Is no. I am not so categorical, far from it!
The lawn is important in a garden , both aesthetically speaking where it brings an essential vegetal side, that at the practical level: so that children can play, to lie down and enjoy the sun, read a good book …
I think everything is a matter of proportions and the time we want to spend. Everything depends on you. The motto should be: it is better to have a smaller and better maintained turf surface.
So that you take into account what is the maintenance of a beautiful lawn and know what area you want to keep, here is the review of the tasks to be performed imperatively.
Right after, I will explain how to determine which parts of turf to remove and how to replace them.
Why is it so hard to have a nice lawn?
Before you talk about the interview, here are some explanations about the creation .
If you opt for sod (by yourself or a professional), you need to be aware that it will take several months to reach the final result. Indeed, several clippings will be essential to eliminate the weeds that will grow at the same time as your blades of grass, but also so that the clumps of grass become denser, we do not see the earth anymore and that we get a soft carpet.
Contrary to popular belief, sod turf (roll) is not providential. At the creation, it will be beautiful and save you time, you will immediately look at the top, but it will need the same maintenance as any lawn to keep this beautiful aesthetic over the years.
So you understand it, everything happens at the maintenance level .
Here are the essential steps :
- Mowing : it is necessary to mow regularly so as not to cut too much height at a time, which is bad for the lawn. Do not cut too short, especially in summer or before winter.
Collecting mowing waste is necessary to keep a beautiful lawn. Otherwise, the cut grass dries, which is not pretty, but in addition, it prevents the grass from capturing the sun. For the same reason, do not forget to pick up the dead leaves from the trees at the end of the season.
- Fertilizer : like any other plant, turf needs nutrients to grow well, and since the roots of the lawn are very dense and concentrate just a few centimeters deep, the reserves are quickly depleted. Fertilizing at least twice a year is a necessity for the grass to remain beautiful.
- Weeding : I’d rather be honest, you’ll never get out! There are thousands of seeds in the soil in addition to those that move with the wind. Weeding is therefore a necessity. If you do it chemically, two interventions a year will probably be enough. If you have decided to tackle this problem by hand, I advise you to do it as often as possible, before each mowing for example.
- Scarification : This is not the best known intervention and yet it has many advantages . You can remove dried grass blades, some weeds, moss and aerate the soil with a scarifier . The manual versions look a lot like a rake, but if you have a large surface, you better turn to electric or gas models. One to two passes a year is a good pace.
- Watering : at the creation of the grass, watering is essential if it does not rain enough. Secondly, I will be more in favor of letting the lawn fend for itself, so it will produce deeper roots to fetch water and it will be less sensitive when the earth will dry on the surface. But in the case of a perfect lawn, it is necessary to qualify this principle. If you live in a dry region, watering will be essential for its survival anyway. Otherwise, we will intervene if we see that its beautiful lawn suffers from drought. In any case, keep in mind that it is better to water a lot and not often than the opposite. Thus the water penetrates deep into the earth and the roots follow.
As you can see, proper turf maintenance brings together four to five different stains that are needed for optimal results.
Now that you know exactly what lawn care is all about, you have a choice between spending more time on it or reducing the grass area.
How to reduce the chore?
As I have already told you, I think that a lawn is almost indispensable to the garden, so I will not encourage you to remove it entirely. I think rather that it is necessary to reduce the surface to keep a space of reasonable size, that is to say adapted to the utility that you have of it and the time that you can devote to it. It is better to have a smaller, well-maintained lawn area that you want to walk barefoot on, rather than a large abandoned area.
How to choose the parts to keep?
I advise you to keep only the space or the simplest spaces to maintain : easy to access with the mower, not too sloping, with the least possible borders to finish at the brush cutter.
What to do with surfaces where the lawn has been removed? What are the alternatives to turf?
You have different possibilities. This will depend on the desired aesthetics and the need or not to walk on this space.
- Create a massive flowering plants . Often, pruning plants with flowers is scary because it is technical. You will actually need to know how to do and the right period for each plant, but in most cases, an intervention per year and per plant is enough, and it is much more pleasant than pushing a mower. To control weeds, mulch at ground level.
- Cover the space with ground cover plants . If it is for an embankment, I advise you to opt for creeping shrubs or creeping conifers that require no maintenance.
There are also ground cover plants that can be walked on and are often presented as alternatives to grass . There are different varieties, but none are miraculous. Some are resistant to drought but dread winters too rigorous. Others have no problem with frost but will dry out after two weeks without rain. Some produce flowers that attract insects, it is ecological but not very reassuring when you want to go barefoot. Some are very beautiful but will only support a slight trampling. If you want to go on this solution, choose a variety that suits your area and your use of this space.
- Install artificial turf . The models are becoming more like a real lawn, but it is a fairly expensive alternative.
- Make differentiated management . Behind this jargon of professionals in green spaces lies a simple principle: to have a well maintained lawn near the house and elsewhere, let the grass grow. For the latter, instead of mowing regularly, we will mow once or twice a year and we will not remove the weeds that will bring some flowers. This space will give a natural and rural look to your garden.
Now, it’s your turn to play.
See which parts of your lawn you can reduce or eliminate. Replace them with an alternative that will require less maintenance time. Use this time saving to better take care of the remaining surface and finally have the turf of your dream.
In the end, you will have a better result without having to spend more time. You have everything to gain!