Establishing the Lawn Original PowerPoint Created by Howard Henderson Modified by the Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office June 2002
Reasons forEstablishing a Lawn • They add beauty to the landscape: • A well-kept lawn is very appealing and inviting. • They are used as recreational areas: • Baseball, picnics, football, sun bathing, golf, etc… • They provide an excellent cover: • They help control erosion and allow movement of air and water to the roots of trees and shrubs in the soil below.
Soil and Grading • Consider soil conditions: • Is this an area in which all of the topsoil has been graded? • Is the slope appropriate for a lawn? • Is the drainage adequate? • Consider lot grading: • The lot should be graded to slope away from the house. This prevents water from entering the basement.
Soil and Grading continued • Spread at least 6” of topsoil over the surface. • Till to loosen and break up clods. • Slope should not exceed 15%. • No more than 15 feet of drop for every 100 feet of lawn area.
Proper Drainage • Ensures a balance between the air and water in the soil. • Encourages proper root growth. • Can be established by installing a tile 3’ below the surface to drain the subsoil. • The slope of the land can be used to drain surface water away.
Fertilizer • A complete fertilizer with high phosphorus content is recommended for establishing new lawns. • Some companies manufacture “starter fertilizers” for new lawns. • Prior to applying fertilizer, a soil test must be done to determine the correct level of nutrients to add.
Fertilizer continued • The pH level should be between 6.0 and 6.5. • Spread the fertilizer in two different directions to aid in proper distribution. • Follow up with a hand rake to work the fertilizer into the soil surface.
Starting the Lawn • There are three ways to start a lawn: • Seeding • Sodding • Plug or Strip Planting
Selecting Seed • Select and purchase a high quality seed in order to establish a high quality lawn. • New varieties are being developed constantly for specific conditions. • Check with a local lawn specialist for recommendations for your specific needs.
Selecting Seed continued • Lawn grass seed is required to have the following information on the label: • Name • Purity • Percent of Germination • Other Crop • Inert Matter • Weed Seed • Noxious Weeds • Year Tested • Company Name
Seeding the Lawn • There are several steps involved in seeding a lawn: • Sowing the seed • Covering the seed • Mulching • Firming the seed • Watering
Sodding • Sod is grass and roots in a thin layer of soil which is removed from the areas in strips. • Sodding is very expensive, so should only be done on steep slopes or where coverage is needed immediately.
Plug or Strip Planting • Plug Planting: the planting of small plugs or blocks of sod at measured intervals. • Strip Planting: the planting of strips of sod end to end in rows that are 1 foot apart.
Reference Introductory Horticulture Fourth Edition H. Edward Reiley & Carroll L. Shry, Jr.