As a nation, we Brits love our lawns. Across the country, on Sunday afternoons, the air reverberates with the noise of lawnmowers. Creating that beautiful striped green finish provides homeowners with an element of pride and let’s face it, a lawn is good for the environment. Wildlife love them, birds enjoy the feeding opportunities they provide, and green grass is a far better playing surface for the family than gravel or paving. If you want to turn an area of your garden over to lawn you have two options.
Seed vs Turf – Which is the Best?
As you might expect there are pros and cons for both options. Turf is obviously much quicker, and as soon as it has been laid, watered in and trimmed it looks great straight away. Whereas seed requires a little more patience, care, and attention.
Cost is another factor worth considering. Turf is very expensive. Various companies, such as Greenvale Products Ltd, will deliver it straight to your door. Laying turf is very labor intensive, although it doesn’t take as long as you think. Once the initial preparation of the area is completed you should be able to lay a lawn in less than an hour. Seed is a much cheaper option and the preparation is much the same. It takes just ten minutes to sow a fair-sized lawn and then you’ve got six weeks or more to wait before the first shoots appear.
If the area you want as the lawn is small, turf is a good option. However, for much larger areas, sowing grass seed is a much better option.
Sowing a Lawn
A lawn is best sown at the beginning of Spring or Autumn. Turf, on the other hand, can be laid at any time of the year. The same preparation is required for both of them. Fork the ground over, rake level and then trample until firm. Rake it once more before sowing seed or laying the turf.
The best type of seed for a hard-wearing lawn is a mixture that contains dwarf ryegrasses. Unless you don’t mind becoming a slave to your lawn it’s best to avoid mixtures that produce a bowling green finish. This type of mix is also prone to diseases.
If the area you’re seeding is in shade, there are special mixes for this type of area. Deep shade, however, is not suitable for lawn and you’ll be better off using gravel or paving.
Seed should be sprinkled at the rate of around 1.5 oz per square meter, or roughly two clenched fistfuls. After a couple of weeks, a green haze should start to appear. Watering it during dry spells will make it grow quicker. When the blades of grass have reached a couple of inches high you can take the tips off with a mower. As the law thickens you can mow every week.
Caring for Your Lawn
Apart from regular mowing, your lawn should require little attention. Fertilising in the spring and early summer and removal of weeds should be enough to keep it in good condition. Raking out any moss is also part of the maintenance schedule, and this should be done just before you feed.