Lawn sowing: how to choose the turf that best suits your needs
The turf in the garden is a great solution both from a practical and aesthetic point of view: In fact, it allows you to filter rainwater, absorb it in the soil and channel it, so that it can be collected from underground water tables. In this way you can avoid the formation of mud and water stagnation. Sowing the lawn is a very easy process, which has to be preceded by some preliminary works: first of all, you have to clean the soil from stones, stumps and weeds eradicating them at the root. Then, till the area up to 20cm deep by using a spade so that the soil is crumbly. If it’s too drained, organic matter must be added, while if it’s not sand is added.
In case the old turf is present, the roots of all the plants must be eradicated or a systemic herbicide should be used two weeks before. At this point the soil is compacted and flattened with a roller to eliminate irregularities: the operation must be done several times, passing over the area in different crossed directions. For a couple of weeks the soil must be left uncultivated but always clean, and after having spread a phosphorus based granular fertilizer you can start sowing the actual soil.
The choice of turf
Before sowing the lawn you must choose which is the best suited turf for your needs: the climate of the place where we live and the result we want to achieve will have to be considered.
On the market you will find 5-6 base varieties different from each other, that can start an ornamental lawn or a walkable lawn.
In any case the sowing of the lawn must be done with quality elements, so that the final result won’t be patchy.
For example the type of tall grass is used mainly in flower beds, whilst if you want to achieve the classic english lawn, you should opt for a smooth and shaved variety. Usually the sowing of the lawn uses the spontaneous herbaceous garden species belonging to the Gramineae family as they resist both drought and high temperatures and considerable humidity. The most common are the Festuca Arundinacea, Festuca Elatior, Bermuda Grass, Poa Pratensis, Lolium and Dactyl. In this way you can achieve an all year round luxuriant and deep green lawn.
If you want a solution similar to the english lawn, you can plant dichondra or dwarf clover: in fact, not being Gramineae, they are characterized by a uniform height of only one centimeter. This is explained by the fact that these plants don’t grow and therefore, the upkeep part related to the cuttings is avoided; however, it is preferred to opt for this type of lawn during the sowing, if the area is not walkable or if it’s affected by limited passages.
In this way you can avoid ruining the plants. When you choose a variety for the sowing of the lawn you also need to consider the ideal climate conditions for the variety in question: for example the English style uses a lawn suitable for a cold and humid climate as it originated in northern Europe. Consequently, if it’s planted in Italy, it needs regular and constant maintenance: the watering must be abundant and daily, whilst the removal of weeds is constant to achieve a turf that is always compact and perfectly smooth. Finally a regular administration of natural fertilizers must be carried out.
The sowing of the lawn and the mixes
The sowing of the lawn takes place mostly at the start of autumn, in days not too humid or windy. If you carry out this operation in summer or spring there are contraindications such as high temperatures and weeds. The sowing of the lawn can be done with a seeder or by hand, and generally for one square meter of soil, 50 grams of seeds are needed.
The costs are around 30 cents per square meter, however, the prices vary depending on the varieties chosen. A very appreciated solution is seed mixes , which allows you to harness the strengths of the different types of seeds. One of the most popular low maintenance blends is the one made up of 80% of Festuca and the remaining part of Ryegrass and Poa Pratensis.