How to build your lawn correctly to save years of problems!
The secret to a 1st class lawn lies in it's construction.
lawns are constructed based on the principals of golf green
construction. This way we can achieve a lower maintenance, harder wearing
lawn. It is important to select
type of materials, quantities and depths to ensure that your lawn
is constructed correctly, so that it will be suitable for the
purpose for many years to come.
Step 1 - Preparation of the sub
Firstly clear the site to appropriate levels and falls. Install a
gravel base with drainage system. Install drains - 3 lengths of plastic land drain
triangulating out from one large soak away were used on
the above site.
This was in preference to a herringbone drain, as most drains
require cleaning out after a few years, and access can be made
from one point to all 3 drains covering the site.
Use an relatively inert gravel such as
sandstone. Using limestone to backfill drain trenches is not
a good idea, even if it is often cheaper than other materials the
alkaline will react with the preferred acidic soil conditions and
will be readily broken down in acid soils. Alkaline
conditions are also attractive to earth worms which will cast into
the stone backfill therefore clogging it up and worm casts also
disrupt the surface.
At this point installing ducting tubes for electricity
garden irrigation is a great idea even if you are sure you are
going to use them. Install pop
up irrigation to make it easy to irrigate, particularly
during the establishment stage. A layer of fine gravel on top of coarse gravel and then a
layer of course sand blinds the structure off, ready for the rootzone.
Step 2 - The Rootzone
It is vital to have the correct rootzone for a good lawn.. If
a rootzone is heavy with a high clay content then water will not
drain easily into the gravel layers and this will be a maintenance
headache. We used a 20 tons of 70/30 sand / soil golf green mix. Although
it costs a little more, it is sterile, (you
cannot easily get rid of unwanted coarse weed grasses that
germinate) it's stone free and easy to handle. It is a
freely draining material ideal for grass root growth and as a
"specified mix" it does not contain recycled materials such as
crushed building waste and other impurities which could affect the
health of the lawn.
Step 3 - The surface
Considerable effort is necessary to obtain the correct levels. Any lawn
which undulates too much will be difficult to mow as scalping may
occur on high sections and lush growth in the hollows particularly
if you close mow with a cylinder mower for the best finish.
Let the levels settle for a long as possible. Raking and
consolidating with your heels several times over every
inch of the lawn stabilises the surface.
Step 4 - The correct seed
the UK, conditions are usually favourable to sow seed in Spring or
early Autumn when the grown is warm or warming up and moist.
You may wish to turf. Whichever method you choose, pick your grass mix very carefully
. There are many cheap agricultural grass varieties
available, which are great if you want to grow fodder for your
sheep! Grass can also be specified with with
drought resistant properties for the hot summers we hope for.
Feel free to contact Country Landscapes for further details or advice.