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Want a 'perfect' grass lawn?

Jeanine Gurley

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1393
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
Plant a hugelkultur bed.  This pic was taken about a week ago.  Everyone else’s lawns were dry, brown and noticeably crunchy.  I do not water this bed – it is my first hugel experiment.

Important to me is that the butternut squash is growing like crazy with no water, fertilizer, etc.
What is important to ‘lawn people’ is that the grass to the left of the bed is very green.  That green strip has now expanded about 2-3 more feet in a weeks time. 

Tonight I tried to mow alongside the bed and the grass is so thick I could barely get the mower through it.  There are absolutely NO WEEDS anywhere in the green area of the grass that has expanded from the bed. 

I didn’t have time to take a photo tonight but it is at a maximum level of green-ness and lushness.

It is the perfect grass lawn and it is starting to take over my back yard – except I don’t want it!!!

[Thumbnail for hugel_lawn.JPG]

1. my projects

Joined: Aug 08, 2011
Posts: 6
so i can have the best of both worlds if i plant butternut squash on both sides of my yard
good find

Joined: Aug 29, 2011
Posts: 1
Location: canada
I would add some points for you:
1. Mow frequently with sharp blades
If your expectations are a green lawn, the key is often cut, forcing it to grow thick and keep weeds. Keep mower blades sharp so the grass is not beat up and vulnerable to disease.

2. Do not go too short
Golf Courses low cut for a look neatly trimmed, but the short grass responds faster and faster. "The lower harvest, the herbicides and water you need, and then it becomes an intensive management system," says Pete Landschoot, professor of turf science at Penn State University.

So how high to cut? That largely depends on the type of grass, but Euel Coats, a retired professor of weed science at Mississippi State University, preaches the "one third rule": Never cut more than one third of the grass height at a time. If the grass is three inches tall, cut an inch or less. Deeper and is "speculation" plants, which can take two or three cutting cycles to recover.

Mowing high forces grow deep base, said Roch Gaussoin, Extension turf grass specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The deeper the roots, the better to resist disease and less water is needed. The manual of your lawn mower will explain how to change the blade height.

3. Do not cut wet grass
Mow when the lawn is saturated with water will compact the soil so that roots can not breathe. When that happens, the grass dies and you will see bald spots on the lawn.

4. Mulch clippings on the lawn
Leave the clippings where they fall. Not only eliminate all trips bagging and unloading, but the clippings fertilize the soil. If you are cutting often cuts are short and few and work your way back to earth without becoming brown and messy.

5. Water deeply - and infrequently

"The number 1 I see homeowners make is on the water, which accumulates excess thatch (an unsightly thick carpet of tangled roots between the grass blades and soil)," says Brooks. Daily watering the roots of surface water and waste. In contrast, deep water, watching closely to see if more is needed.

These are signs it's time to water, according to Gaussoin:

The soil resists when you push a screwdriver or steel rod into the ground;
The herb has a slightly blue tint, and
Tracks in the grass remain compressed.
If you're not on the floor of irrigation, a sprinkler works well. Landschoot suggests giving the grass an inch of water each time you water. Measured by putting an empty tuna can on the grass. When full, move the risk to another place and start measuring again. Once you know the needs of your lawn, you can put the sprinkler on a timer (which cost $ 10 to $ 60).

Poor soil - made of clay or compacted traffic too - do not readily absorb moisture. If water pools and runs into the street or sidewalk before your can of tuna is full, try Plan B: The water only a third of an inch every night for three nights in a row, then wait until you needed again.

6. Avoid watering during the night
Do not put your lawn to bed with wet feet. That means that for the grass to dry before the dew falls, since prolonged moisture invites disease. The best time to water is before dawn or early morning. You'll lose water to evaporation by sprinkling in midday.

Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit

Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
Jeanine, mow as low as possible and throw in some wood chips and tons of wildflower seeds! That should solve your problem with this lawn.

Life that has a meaning wouldn't ask for its meaning. - Theodor W. Adorno
Matt Marksman

Joined: Dec 09, 2011
Posts: 11
An idea i think would be interesting and tedious would be to aerate the lawn and break small twigs or pieces of wood to put into each hole. Not above the grass where you would hurt yourself though. I think it would decompose sort of like hugelkulture but it would in very small plugs throughout the lawn giving it more water retention through the wood plus the added surface area. Some air would still get into the holes too. I may try it this year just to see. I know my yard is compacted from the last 100 years of people walking on it. I wish i could plant my who yard as hugelkulture raised beds but the mrs. doesn't like that idea.
Jeanine Gurley

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1393
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
6 month update on lawn and experimental hugel bed: The bed has been doubled in width and this year will be planted with potatoes and a variety of other things. As for the grass it will probably be thick and impermiable but I don't really care - there is a small greenhouse that is covering my new well at the end of the bed and the remaining grass is simply a road to get back there.

As for the rest of my lawn? More lush and green than it has ever been and this in the middle of February. Why? Cause I've managed to get chickweed, henbit, clovers and dandelion to take over - good riddance grass. The flowers are prettier, bees are in the yard year round, the turkeys and chickens love it and I need more dandelions because I keep eating them!
subject: Want a 'perfect' grass lawn?