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Home > Types of Gardening > Outdoor Gardening > The Lawn
The Lawn in Outdoor Gardening
A lawn is an inseparable part of a good home garden. It provides natural settings for the growing flowers and shrubs like a canvas for painting a picture. It is cool and refreshing in summer and pleasant and relaxing in winter.

The Lawn in Outdoor GardeningThe most important ingredient of a lawn is of course the grass. Grass is basically a crop, whether it goes as a fine lawn or a farm meadow. The farmer must feed the grass in his meadow, keep weeds under control and ensure it does not overgraze if he wishes to keep it in good condition and yield a maximum crop of good quality grass. Similarly, a good lawn needs regular care if it is to become and remain firt class turf in both appearance and texture.

A lawn is a permanent feature and, therefore good care should be taken in preparing it. It maybe difficult to rectify later, any mistakes or negligence in initial preparation. The grass used for making a lawn is a cultivated plant and requires as much attention as any of the other plants in your garden. The quality and look of the grass in your garden will make or break the look of your garden.

The basis of a good lawn is careful preparation of the site before sowing or turfing. Adequate drainage is essential, although the soil itself must be moisture retentive. By judicious feeding, elimination of weeds and watering regularly in dry weather, the grass will soon become established.

Shape of a Lawn : The shape of a lawn maybe regular or irregular. The most popular regular shape is rectangular. An irregular shape is more difficult to maintain and will require superior artistic judgement for providing a natural and beautiful setting. A rectangular lawn may not look so formal if the herbaceous or mixed border, into which it is merged, is given an irregular shape.

Aerating Your Lawn

Aeration benefits your lawn in several ways. First: it allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate further into the soil, encouraging deeper root growth. Second: it reduces soil compaction. The result can be a healthier and more vigorous lawn. A power aerator is the fastest and most efficient way to aerate your lawn. Slightly overlap each pass until the entire lawn has been aerated.

Hollow tining lifts out small cores of grass and soil. This creates large air pockets in the lawn.

For smaller areas, a similar effect can be achieved by using a garden fork. Step down firmly on the garden fork, and wiggle the handle back and forth to open up the soil and let in more air.

After you finish aerating your lawn, any cores left lying on the grass can be taken care of easily. Drag a piece of chain-link fencing around your lawn behind a mower or by hand. The fencing will break up the cores into very small pieces. Another approach is to simply set the blade on your mower a little lower than normal, then mow over the cores. This `topdressing` can help to reduce thatch layers.

Removing Turf What you need:
Wooden stakes
Half moon edger
Square headed shovel

The first step is to set a string line. Using stakes as shown and a builder`s square, you can create a uniformly square or rectangular area. If you want a more organic shape, use a garden hose to mark the borders of your bed.

Use a half moon edger to cut through the turf around the perimeter of the string line.

Finally, using a square headed spade, remove the turf, piece by piece, by undercutting the roots of the grass. Once the sod is removed, you will have to heavily cultivate the soil below either using a rototiller or by hand.

Repairing a Damaged Lawn

Repairing Damaged LawnAn alternative to reseeding a bare spot on a lawn is repairing the damaged area with sod. One of the benefits of using sod is that the damaged area can be walked upon and mowed almost immediately.

You will need a piece of plywood large enough to cover the damaged area. Lay the board over the bare spot and use a half moon edger to cut through the turf, following the edge of the board.

Undercut the turf with an edger or a square headed spade, and discard or compost the material that you remove.

Break up the soil under the turf with a hand cultivator or garden fork. Place the piece of plywood in the center of the sod you will be using to repair the bare spot. Cut through the sod, again following the edge of the board.

Lay the piece of sod into the hole. Check that the new piece of sod is at the same level as the rest of the lawn. Add or remove soil as necessary to achieve the proper level.

Use the plywood to firm in the sod. Place the wood perpendicular to the new piece of sod and stand on it. Repeat this over the whole area. Top dress the sod with an even mixture of sand and compost that has been sieved through inch wire mesh. Apply about a inch of the mixture. Water the area well and you`re done.

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