Page 142 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
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lawns
Both seed and sod are basically a combination of Kentucky blue grass and fescue grass varieties. These are combined in different ratios for different conditions. Fescue is more tolerant to adverse conditions, so for example, the ratio of fescue in a specialty seed for full shade would be higher than it would be in an all purpose mix. Kentucky blue grass needs full sun to thrive. There are specialty seeds available for the shade, for low maintenance, and to patch damage left by pets. There are reasons to use both seed and sod; choose the option that works best for you.
General preparation for new lawns
1)Topsoil should be at least 6 in. (15 cm) deep. Add additional topsoil if required.
2) Spread topsoil using landscaping rake, removing all debris.
3) Establish a grade sloping away from the house.
4) Compact the soil using a garden roller. Seed
Seeding should be done in the spring or fall, not during hot, mid-summer conditions. Seed is less expensive than sod, but requires more maintenance.
Seeding steps
1) Spread grass seed using a drop spreader at the amount per square foot indicated on the package. Different varieties have different ratios.
2) Rake in lightly.
3) Fertilize using a high phosphorous lawn fertilizer (18-24-12), which encourages root growth. It is used only on newly seeded grass.
4) Keep area moist for at least two full weeks.
5)Mow when approximately 2.5 in. (7 cm) long.
Do not cut shorter than 2 in. (5 cm) the first year.
Sod
Sod is more expensive than seed, but gives you an instant lawn. Sod is sold in rolls 6x1.5 ft. (2x.5m). Sod should be kept in a cool place and used within two days of delivery, so general preparation should be nearly, or fully completed before delivery.
Sodding steps
1)Begin laying sod along a straight edge, such as a sidewalk. Lay full row.
2)Lay the next row offset from the first, like bricks. 3)Trim sod to fit using a sharp knife. A straight
edge is sometimes useful for even cutting.
4)After sod has been laid roll or tamp down the high spots.
6) Fertilize using a high phosphorous lawn fertilizer (18-24-12), which encourages root growth. It is used only on newly planted grass.
7)Keep area moist for at least two full weeks. 8)Mow when approximately 2.5 in. (7 cm) long.
Do not cut shorter than 2 inches (5 cm) the first year.
Maintenance
Once your lawn is established it becomes only a matter of weekly mowing, and watering, and fertilizing a few times a year. Mow once a week using a sharp blade, which will make a cleaner cut. During hot, dry conditions lawns can use up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water a week. Regular weekly watering will create deeper roots, so that the plants can tolerate drier conditions. Weekly deep watering is better, for both moisture retention and grass development, than light daily watering.
Fertilizing
Apply a slow release lawn fertilizer with a high proportion of nitrogen (the first number of three on the package), such as 21-3-4 in May and again in July. (Slow release fertilizers last for 6-8 weeks). Winterizing fertilizer can be applied in late September and will become active in the early spring when growing conditions begin.
Spring lawn maintenance
Rake lawn thoroughly or use a power rake to break up the thatch. Thatch is interwoven dead grass, which prevents moisture and nutrients from penetrating into the soil. Aerate every few years, removing soil plugs. This allows better moisture and nutrient penetration.
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