Horticulture :: Landscaping :: Lawn and lawn making


A lawn is an area where grass is grown as a green carpet for a landscape and is the basic feature of any garden.  It serves to enhance the beauty of the garden, be it larger or smaller.  Proper lawn maintenance plays a crucial part in any landscape design. A beautiful well maintained lawn can make the entire landscape look good, whereas a lawn that is not maintained can completely ruin it's beauty. The lawn not only harmonizes with a decor of the drawing room, but also sets of a suitable background for a specimen tree or a shrub, as well as for colourful beds and borders.  The position of the lawn largely depends upon the layout of the garden in relation to the house.  In general lawn should be wide open with access to direct sunshine, especially in front of a rockery and a water pool.

Site and Soil
After choosing the site, the next important factor for consideration is the size and shape of the lawn. The preparation of site includes digging, leveling and enriching the soil with organic manures or by amending with fertile soil. If the soil is very heavy, coarse sand may be added by removing subsoil to a depth of 20 cm. The ideal soil pH should be 5.0 to 5.6.  If it is very acidic 500 g/m2 lime should be added and to clayey loam or alkaline soil gypsum of the same quantity may be added. Provision of drainage for excess rain water should be made if the ground is not sloppy.

The site should be thoroughly levelled with spade, pebbles and weeds are hand picked.  The soil is rolled with a roller.  Weeds especially nut grass should not be allowed to grow and should be removed with roots for at least 2 to 3 times.

Methods of lawn making

1. Seeding
The most popular grass suitable for seeding is "Doob" grass (Cynodon dactylon).  It has the fast spreading mat forming habit, radially forms roots at the nodes, the foliage is dark green, narrow with parallel vines. A lawn from seed is thought of only when grass roots are not available.  About 30 kg of seed is required for planting one hectare.  The soil should be reduced to fine tilth and given a light rolling. The site should be divided into suitable small squares or rectangles, the seeds are mixed with double the quan­tity of finely sieved soil and should be rolled again and wa­tered liberally with rose can. The seeds take four to five weeks for germination. Care should be taken not to flood the site.  For the first few times, the grasses are cut with a scythe. Lawn mower may be used for easy maintenance and for its spreading.

2. Turfing
The turfs are nothing but pieces of earth with compact grasses on them. These turfs should be cut uniformly in squares from a place where the grass is short, compact and free from weeds. These turfs should be placed on the prepared ground site, side by side and beaten down flat with a turf beater. The cavities in between should be filled with fine soil. The entire turfed area should be rolled and watered liberally. This is the most expensive way of lawn making.

3. Turf plastering
The doob grass can be procured in large quantities free from weeds and chopped properly into small bits of 5-7 cm long. Two baskets of chopped grass pieces should be mixed well with one basket each of garden soil and fresh cow dung and a shovel full of wood ash with required quantity of water to form a thick pasty substance. This mixture is then spread uniformly on the surface of a previously wetted perfectly leveled ground to a thickness of at least 2.5cm and watering should be done with a rose can. The next day, ground should be rolled and the grass should be allowed to spread. The grass will shoot up in a fortnight. To start with, cut with a scythe and after three months, use the lawn mower. 

4. Dibbling roots
This is the cheapest but time consuming method. Small pieces of grass roots should be dibbled 10 – 15 cm apart in a leveled ground when it is wet after rain. The roots spread and grow underground in the course of six months making a fairly compact lawn by frequent mowing, rolling and watering.

After Care: It includes rolling, mowing, watering and restora­tion of patchy places, which should be done regularly.

  1. Fertilizing the lawn thrice a year is adequate to maintain rich greenness.  Application of urea or ammonium sulphate at the rate of 1 kg / 50 sq. m during February - March,    June - July and October - November is quite beneficial.  At times well decomposed compost at 10 kg / 10 sq. m area will be sufficient as top dressing.
  2. Weeds should be removed as soon as they appear, otherwise they spread, seed multiply and overpower the grass. Fill the gaps with grass roots and fine soil. In the absence of rain, watering is done regularly at weekly intervals.
  3. A mower should not be employed until a firm green sword has been formed. The grass is first cut with sickle and the surface is then rolled. Heavy roller should be used frequently but not when the ground is either too wet or dry.
  4. Mowing should be done at brief intervals and never allow to produce seed stalks. Avoid cutting the grass too short as this can damage the grass, inhibit a deeper root system from setting up and give rise to weeds. Different grasses have different heights at which they can grow best, so make sure you enquire about this from the vendor or your landscaping company. The ideal height of most grasses is 3 to 4 inches. Removing more than one-third of the grass leaf in a single cutting is not recommended. Mow only on dry grass and not when the grass is wet. Make sure you mower's blade is a new and sharp before starting a fresh moving session. To ensure smoothness make sure you change the mower's oil once or twice during mowing season.
  5. Once in a year rake the lawn before rain and top dress with rich mixture of decomposed manure and soil. This will accelerate the grass with new vigorous growth.
  6. The best time to water the lawn would be during the early hours of morning. Watering during this time will allow the water to reach the roots without evaporating. Mid afternoons may lead to water getting evaporated soon and watering at night times can give rise to the possibilities of diseases. While watering, care should be taken to spread the water homogeneously across the lawn without over flooding or missing certain areas/spots. If the lawn is placed on heavy slopes make sure that the water does not run-off. Several applications of water would be necessary for such surfaces to ensure adequate penetration.
5. Astro Turf
It is a synthetic lawn popularly used in developed countries in roof gardens as well as in play grounds. It dispenses the normal maintenance usually required for normal lawns. Constant sprinkling of water is one of the prime requi­site to bind the synthetic fibre to provide a surface akin to a lawn carpet.

A spacious lawn though beautiful will often be monotonous. So, to break the monotony, some beautiful tree or shrub is recommended as single specimen in the lawn.

Plants suitable for planting in lawns as single specimen


  1. Amherstia nobilis
  2. Callistemon lanceolatus
  3. Magmolia grandiflora
  4. Cupresses macrocarpa
  5. Pinus longifolia
  6. Thuja orientalis
  7. Araucaria excelsa

Shrubs and creepers:

  1. Agave americana
  2. Furcraea gigantea
  3. Musa superba
  4. Bougainvillea spectabilis
  5. Cestrum nocturnum
  6. Dombeya spectabilis
  7. Hibiscus species


Fescue grass


Paspalum vaginatum

Cynodon dactylon

lawn_4St. Augustine (Palmetto) Best Seller 450sqft

Stenotaphrum secundatum


Pennisetum clandestinum


Zoysia japonica


Bermuda grass

    Description of lawn grass species
S. No Botanical Name Common name Texture Situation
1 Cynodon dactylon Hariyali (or) Arugu (or) Doob grass Medium fine Suitable for open sunny location; drought resistant
2 Stenotaphrum secundatum St. Augustine grass or Buffalo grass Coarse texture Suitable for shady situation; requires frequent watering
3 Sporobolus tremulus Chain grass (or) Upparugu Fine Suitable for saline soils and open sunny locations
4 Poa annua  Annual blue grass Medium fine Suitable for acid soils and suitable for higher elevations
5 Pennisetum clandestinum Kikuyu grass Rough Grow well in acids soils, suitable for higher elevations.
6 Zoisia japonica Japan grass Coarse Suitable for poor sandy soil; open sunny situation, slow in growth
7 Z. matrella Manila grass Medium Suitable for open sunny situation
8 Z. tenuifolia Korean grass or velvet grass or carpet grass Fine Suitable for open sunny situation
9 Cynodon sp. Bermuda grass (or) Hyderabad grass Fine Suitable for open sunny situation, needs mowing
10 Cynodon sp. Dwarf Bermuda Medium Suitable for open sunny situation
11 Festuca sp. Fescue grass Coarse Shade tolerant, survive on inferior soils
12 Paspalum vaginatum Paspalum grass Medium Suitable for open sunny situation

Problems in a lawn

Problem Symptoms Control
Chlorosis Grass turns yellow with the deficiency of magnesium and iron Iron: Spray Ferrous sulphate 25 g dissolved in 10 litres of water per 100 sq. metre.
Magnesium: Spray Magnesium sulphate 100 g in 10 litres of water per 100 sq. metre.
Dog urine Dead grass in the lawn Re-plant grass in a circular manner
Fertilizer burn Grass browns especially in hot weather Drench the lawn in injured areas to leach excess fertilizers deep into the soil.
Improper mowing Lawns cut too closely turn yellowish and often look diseased or dried Mow enough to remove not more than 1/3rd height of the grass at a time. Keep mower blades sharp.
Improper watering Light sprinkling encourages shallow roots. Over watering causes diseases Water the lawn to wet the soil about10 to 15 cm depth.

Plant Protection

Symptoms Control
Leafhoppers Suck the juice from grass blades causing stripped white, then yellow and finally brown leaves. Spray Dimethoate 2 ml/l
Nematodes Affect the roots, lawn takes a bleached out appearance     Apply Furadan 40 g /sq.m



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