Lawns are essential feature in designing of landscape and land-development of modern houses. A properly maintained lawn not only provides aesthetic value to your home but also provides many environmental benefits. A well-maintained lawn will prevent soil erosion, act as a living filter for water and air pollutants, act as an air conditioner during the hot summer, and provide oxygen to the atmosphere.
Lawns are essential feature in designing of landscape and land-development of modern houses. A properly maintained lawn not only provides aesthetic value to your home but also provides many environmental benefits. A well-maintained lawn will prevent soil erosion, act as a living filter for water and air pollutants, act as an air conditioner during the hot summer, and provide oxygen to the atmosphere. It also adds the value of your house in terms of economics, as well developed houses with established lawn evaluated at competitive market price. The quality of a home lawn can be ranked as first, second and third grade according to shape and condition of carpet grass and other lawn features. Quality of lawn is directly proportional to its maintenance. An average-quality home lawn requires only basic maintenance, such as mowing and fertilizing, and removal of weeds. This level of lawn quality involves minimum amount of maintenance, capital, time, and effort. Lawns of superior quality must have a dense stand of turf grass with a minimum number of weeds and other maintenance problems. Such type of lawns require additional turf grass maintenance practices and also proper watering, thatch control, and pest control. Whatever the quality of turf you desire, the objective should be to have a healthy, dense stand of turf grass. Correctly implementing proper turf grass maintenance practices can reduce the need for supplementary practices such as pest control. In our local conditions our lawns face mostly weed infestation, thatching, color change, drying out and not forming proper carpet are some basic problems for management. Mowing and fertilizing are considered basic maintenance practices, and each has a significant impact on the quality of a lawn. These routine maintenance practices are normally done when it is convenient for the homeowner; however, they should be done on a schedule and at the proper time in order to have well groomed turf. Mowing is probably the most important maintenance practice for a good-quality lawn. Fertilizer, pesticides, turf grass seed, and other treatments will accomplish very little if lawns are not mowed at a height that is healthy for the turf grass plant. Mowing directly affects the growing habit and health of lawn grasses, as turf grasses have spreading nature, so proper mowing help them to spread and not grow vertically. By mowing we give a characteristic shape to lawn rather than a pasture or a meadow. Proper mowing is important in creating a good-quality lawn because it encourages a dense stand of turf grass plants, which keeps out weeds through competition for nutrients and sunlight. In addition, frequent mowing provides control of many weeds, especially broadleaf weeds. In our conditions dela a broad leaf weed is frequently seen in our lawns, it has upright growth nature and mowing at proper time could not able it to produce seeds and deteriorate the quality of lawn. Mowing of lawn should be done at proper height, which is different for different lawn grasses. Lawn grasses with horizontal growth habit are mowed at low height such as Bermuda grass (1-1/2 inches), can usually be mowed at a lower mowing height than an upright-growing tall fescue. Turf grasses with smaller leaves can usually be mowed lower than turf grasses with larger leaves. Turf grasses that are under environmental stress such as drought, heat, or shade should be mowed at a higher mowing height, so they might be able to attain more sunlight. Now most important question is that what should be mowing frequency. So always keep in mind that mowing frequency should be according to growth rate of the turf grass. The rate of turf grass growth depends on the type of turf grass present in your lawn, soil type, nutrient availability and environmental conditions. Always keep in mind while mowing that never remove or mow off more than one-third of the turf grass height at any one mowing. Different type of mowers are available in market, buy mower according to the size of your lawn. These mowers include hand-mowers, electricity mowers, and diesel mowers. Normally rotary type hand driven mowers are used in our house lawns, and they meet home lawn requirement well. Maintaining a sharp cutting blade is much important. As a dull mower blade will damage the leaf blades of the turf grass, causing them to turn brown at the point of impact and giving the lawn a general brown cast or appearance. Sharp mower blades cut the turf grass leaves cleanly, ensuring rapid healing and re-growth. Turf grass clippings are rich source of nitrogen, so its wise use is to recycle them or made leaf manure by decomposing them. But if the clippings form a clump they should be removed, as they will block necessary sunlight to turf grass plants. For proper management of lawn fertilizing is necessary process. A well planned schedule for fertilizing turf grass may enhance soil productivity and make health and flourishing your turf grass.. There are 16 known essential elements that are required by turf grasses for their growth. All of these essential elements, with the exception of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, are obtained from the soil and absorbed by turf grass plant roots. Insufficient nutrients in the soil may limit turf grass growth and the quality of the lawn; however, these essential elements can be added to the soil through fertilizer applications. Elements that turf grasses require in the greatest quantities are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is probably the most important element one can apply to a lawn. Nitrogen affects turf grasses in several ways, including color, density, leaf growth, root growth, tolerance to environmental stresses, susceptibility to pests, and recuperative potential of the turf grass after it has been damaged. Applying excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer will encourage leaf growth at the expense of root growth and may even cause a reduction in root mass. Fertilizing with high levels of nitrogen will also increase the incidence of diseases and thatch accumulation and reduce cold tolerance, making the lawn more prone to winter damage. Phosphorus is also needed for turf grass growth and is involved in energy transformation within the turf grass plants. It is generally required in smaller amounts than nitrogen or potassium and plays a critical role in the establishment of turf grasses. Potassium is almost as important an element as nitrogen to turf grass growth. Potassium affects how well a turf grass plant is able to withstand environmental and mechanical stresses. Most turf grasses will better tolerate cold, drought, and heat stresses when potassium levels are adequate. The most efficient way to irrigate or water a lawn is to apply water only when the lawn starts to show signs of drought stress from the lack of moisture. There are several ways to help determine when this time has come. Visual seen of grass, by inserting a screwdriver in lawn soil and by walking on the lawn surface one can determine that ones turf need water. If your lawn exhibits the visual symptoms of drought stress, apply about 1/2 to 1 inch of water, which will moisten the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, depending on the soil type and degree of soil compaction. The best time of the day to irrigate or water is early in the morning because it minimizes the potential for water loss through evaporation. In addition, watering in the morning will not create conditions that promote the occurrence of diseases. Lawn is also damaged by compaction created by moving heavy thing, vehicles on the lawn surface. This cause a great damage to turf grass as soil become deficient in oxygen. Whenever you feel that soil become compact at particular area in tour lawn you need soil aeration to provide oxygen. Soil aeration can provided by using a fork inserting at compact area and digging small wholes at different places in lawn. The best time to do this practice for a warm-season turf grass lawn is during the summer. Thatching is also another big problem of lawns everywhere. It is a layer of compacted mass gather underneath the soil by gradual decomposing of dead plant parts such as stolones. Lawn maintenance practices can also contribute to the development and accumulation of thatch. If lawns are over fertilized, over watered, mowed too infrequently, or mowed too high, then thatch accumulation may become a problem. The rate of thatch accumulation can be decreased and somewhat controlled by reducing the nitrogen fertility levels, watering properly, following the correct mowing schedule, and applying annual topdressings of sand and/or soil to the lawn. Thatch can be physically removed using a hand rake (khurpa). After the thatch debris has been removed, it should be collected and removed from the lawn. Then, apply light topdressing of either sand and/or soil to the lawn. This will further aid in the decomposition of the thatch layer. Topdressing is a turf grass maintenance practice that is used to help decompose thatch, to reduce surface compaction, to improve the soil, and to smooth the lawn surface. Topdressing involves spreading a thin layer of topsoil or other soil mix with sand on the soil surface. After applying the topdressing spread it on the lawn surface properly to maintain lawn s sooth surface. Termites are big problem for lawns, as they not only damage turf but also precious plants, so they should be cured. Hence for keeping one, s lawn healthy and beautiful one should do mowing, fertilization, watering, soil compaction, and thatch control at proper time to save the lush green look of one’s lawn.