Book Review: Landscape Planning

Here is another useful lesson on lawn maintenance from Judith Adam’s book “Landscape Planning.”  This is a handy book for anyone interested in the niche of landscaping or lawn care.  Below is a snippet from the book, to give you a picture of what it contains:

Ten steps to a better lawn:

  1. Select the right -kind of grass for your garden. Lawns made from seed or sod can include several kinds of grass plants, and some may perform better than others in your garden. Getting the right kind of seed can make all the difference between a lawn that’s chronically thin and another that’s thick and lustrous.
    Most general-purpose seed mixes contain a portion of the three main lawn grasses: Kentucky bluegrass, perennial rye and fescue. The bluegrass has a thick and lush blade with blue-green color and requires a lot of moisture and a sunny site. Perennial ryegrass is a medium textured green blade with a good drought resistance. And fescue grasses are able to establish a greensward in shady locations.
    You can customize your lawn by over-seeding with the grass best for your conditions. Grass seeds germinate best in cool, dam seasons, so early spring or mid-autumn are good times to overseed. First mow the lawn and use a rake to rough up areas of bare soil. then scatter the appropriate grass seed generously over areas where the turf is thin. Cover and mulch the seed with 1 inch of peat moss or rotted manure and keep it wet until the seeds germinate and area growing. You can cut the new grass when it reaches a height of 3 inches.

2. Keep the mower blades sharp.

Dull blades rip and shred the grass, giving it a ragged appearance and inviting plant problems. The ragged edges are slow to heal and make an easy entry point for the many fungus diseases that can affect lawns. Clean-cutting mower blades are an investment in the health of your lawn; they can be sharpened at a hardware store in spring.

3. Cut the lawn high.
The roots of grass plants grow in direct proportion to blade length.  Short blades will curtail the growth of roots and make the lawn vulnerable to drought conditions.  To encourage longer roots that can reach ground water, set the mower high so that the lawn is between 2-3 inches in height. You’ll get used to the longer look and the lawn will stay green longer when drought hits. A taller lawn  will shade the soil…

4. Leave lawn clippings in place.

5. Don’t overfeed the lawn.

6. Water less often, for longer periods.

(and so on and so forth. )

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