Table of contents:
- The need for watering the lawn
- Irrigation types
- Irrigation products
- Lawn mowing
- Other tools required for lawn care
- Lawn fertilization and weed control
- Lawn care calendar
Video: Lawn Care Calendar: Watering, Mowing, Fertilizing
- The need for watering the lawn
- Irrigation types
- Sprinkler types
- Manual watering
- Automatic irrigation systems for large lawn areas
- Computer controlled automatic watering
- Lawn mowers
- Trimmers - electric or gasoline braids
- Other tools required for lawn care
- Lawn fertilization and weed control
- Lawn care calendar
Everything worked out - the planting of the lawn was a success, the first shoots of grass are already making their way through the ground, making the landscape design project a reality. In a week or two, the young lawn will delight its owners with delicate emerald greens. And here some lawn owners make their first mistakes, sincerely assuming that lawn grass does not require any special care - after all, no one cares for it in the meadows. Likewise, a lawn is not a meadow; its mixture is carefully planned and calculated, it is formed by cultivated plants that require increased attention.
Assuming the landscaping of the territory with a lawn, it is necessary to take care of the lawn care: solve the problem with watering, take care of the periodic mowing of the lawn grass, introduce mineral fertilizers, means of controlling weeds and pests, and aerate the soil. Not only do all these activities need to be performed in a certain order and sequence, they also require special equipment - caring for the lawn using only a bayonet shovel and a garden hose will be absolutely ineffective.
So, let's analyze lawn care for the tasks that make it up
The need for watering the lawn
Moisture evaporates perfectly from the surface of the grass cover: in seven days from one m 2 - about 25 liters of water. And if the owner of the lawn wants to enjoy its ideal appearance, it is necessary to water it - in the dry weather of the spring-summer season. You can determine the lack of moisture by checking the moisture content of the soil at a depth of 100 mm. The lack of moisture can be determined by the appearance of the lawn grass - it fades, acquires a grayish tint. Bluegrass is especially sensitive to low moisture content. At the same time, most weeds tolerate drought well and, taking this opportunity, will not fail to capture a large area of cultivated lawn.
To increase the resistance of the lawn grass to drought, it is necessary to take measures to deepen and strengthen the equine system of the cultivated lawn. To do this: in the dry season - pierce the compacted soil layer, and then mulch the lawn over its entire surface.
Watering the lawn should be carried out based on the type of soil and the current weather. Lawns on sandy soils need watering more often than on alumina or loam - they retain moisture worse. And, of course, in hot weather, watering the lawn is necessary more often than in dry and cool weather. Based on average values, in hot weather and on sandy soils, lawns will require watering about twice a week; in cool weather, one-time watering for 10 days is quite sufficient.
The basic rule of lawn watering: it is necessary to water it so that in the interval between humidifications the earth dries out - this is necessary to stimulate the root system of lawn grasses, since this way the roots will receive the air they require. With frequent watering (daily or every other day), the lawns are overgrown with bryozoan and moss, the active development of the superficial root system of grasses begins, which worsens the quality of the grass carpet.
That's right - I'm not mistaken! It would seem that it is difficult to water: you need water, some devices (at least a garden hose and a spray bottle) and care to fully meet the needs of the plants. But no, lawn watering has several purposes:
- planting, as their name implies, are carried out during planting, their purpose is to create sufficient conditions for the rapid survival of green spaces. Water consumption for such irrigation is 2.5-3m3 per hundred square meters;
- vegetation (the main type of irrigation) is carried out in order to increase the moisture reserves under the sod layer. Their frequency is directly related to weather conditions; it is quite natural that such irrigations are carried out more often during drought. Water consumption depends on the type of plants, the depth of moisture and the type of soil. The approximate consumption is 0.5-1m3 per hundred square meters;
- feeding are performed when fertilizers are introduced, the water consumption will be 1-1.5 m3 per hundred square meters;
- refreshing ones are designed to protect plants from air drought, their effectiveness is higher if the soil layer contains moisture in sufficient quantity. Water consumption 0.5-1m3 per hundred square meters;
- water charging are performed mainly in autumn and occasionally in spring. Their purpose is to build up moisture reserves in both the upper and deep soil layers. The approximate rate of such irrigation is 8-12 m3 of water per hundred square meters. If the groundwater is located close enough to the surface of the earth, then less water will be required - no more than 6 m3 per hundred square meters;
- anti-freezing are performed in the spring one day before the predicted frost, water consumption - 2-2.5 m3 per hundred square meters.
A couple of decades ago, the only lawn irrigation tools were a watering can and a garden hose. There were simply no other products available - today every lawn owner is faced with a wide range of sprinkler systems designed to make watering the lawn easier.
Why do we need sprinkler systems, i.e. devices that simulate rain? The fact is that watering cannot be done with a stream of water from a garden hose - damage to the turf of the lawn is inevitable (erosion). Therefore, sprinklers are used (otherwise - sprayers, sprinklers), breaking the water jet into splashes (drops).
The simplest sprinklers are non-adjustable circular sprinklers - their design includes a support platform or small peg, making them easy to install and carry from place to place. In operation, circular sprinklers resemble a small fountain and are quite suitable for small lawn areas. Their cost is low, if necessary, you can purchase and install several pieces at once, connecting them with hoses and bringing them to one source of water. Equipped with a timer, this simple irrigation system can water without the need for lawn owners. Prices for non-adjustable circular sprinklers start at 70 rubles.
Caring for a large lawn will require a more powerful sprinkler system, which includes movable circular nozzles that irrigate the area available to them with a spin or pulse (pulsation) of water. Large areas are watered in plots one by one; sprinklers capable of throwing water over long distances are intended for them.
Rotating (at a price of 500 rubles) - the water jet, spray diameter and irrigation distance are regulated. Fine tuning will eliminate the likelihood of irrigation in places that do not require watering (for example, a bench or a gazebo).
Impulse (at a price of 550 rubles) - uniform irrigation, the greatest irrigation distance (up to 500 m 2)
Swinging (oscillating) (at a price of 750 rubles) - especially good for large areas that have the shape of a square or rectangle. They are arranged like this: a hollow tube with nozzles-holes, mounted on a frame. Uniform watering of the lawn area is due to the swing of the tube left and right. Oscillating sprinklers allow you to adjust the spray diameter, width and length of the irrigation zone (maximum area - up to 350 m 2).
If the area of the lawn is not very large, and the owners have no desire to spend on an automatic irrigation system, and the lawn itself is, for example, near a house in which someone constantly lives - you should choose manual watering. No, we are not talking about watering buckets - you need a high-quality garden hose and a special spray nozzle in the form of a pistol. The very case when it will be possible to expand the functions of watering agents, for example, it will be possible to wash a car or water paths.
Domestic spray guns have a lower cost compared to European models (the price of Russian ones is from 80 rubles, imported ones - from 150 rubles), but they also have less opportunities - as a rule, only adjusting the size of the jet. Imported models are equipped with a switch (water flow interruptor), multiple water jet modes and a fixed trigger (spray guns). For watering the lawn, sprayers with a boom adjustable in length will be especially convenient - this is how the most gentle irrigation regime is achieved, without eroding the soil layer.
If we talk about the quality of garden hoses, then they should be multi-layered - a really good hose has up to 5 layers, the purpose of which: the upper layers protect from exposure to the sun (ultraviolet radiation), reinforced - for strength and internal (black) do not allow the simplest to develop algae. If we compare domestic (price - from 20 rubles per running meter) and imported hoses (price - from 50 rubles per running meter), then the former are often formed by only three layers and have greater weight compared to the second.
Automatic irrigation systems for large lawn areas
If the total area of the lawn exceeds 6 acres, then watering it manually is quite difficult. You will need an irrigation system, most of which is hidden underground. It is almost impossible to build it yourself - an accurate calculation of the elements will be required, so it would be more correct to contact companies specializing in landscaping and landscaping. Such irrigation systems can be equipped with two types of sprinklers - aboveground (visible) and underground (recessed), the latter are put forward only for the duration of irrigation, upon completion - recessed into the underground system.
If we talk about aesthetic and functional amenities, then underground sprinklers are more convenient: when not in use, they are not visible and do not interfere with mowing the lawn.
An important note - the automatic irrigation system is best installed before planting (laying) lawn grass, i.e. on an empty land plot and after that carry out its landscaping.
Computer controlled automatic watering
This system will be appreciated by fans of modern technology. If your "smart home" is surrounded by lawn areas or other landscape vegetation, then this system is what you need.
Computer automatic irrigation is formed by the following elements: an underground irrigation system, sprinklers, a container with a water supply (the volume depends on the irrigated areas, a container of 2000 liters or more is especially convenient), a pump (pumps) of sufficient power, soil moisture sensors (tensiometers) and a control computer equipped with a special program.
The automatic irrigation system is installed strictly according to the technical plan, in which the irrigation needs of all types of plants planted (planted) in this area are calculated. The system can be configured so that watering is performed over the entire specified area or in fragments - after all, not all types of plants require frequent watering. Automatic watering works strictly according to a given program, which “turns it on” and “turns it off”, guided by the data included in it (time, intensity, specified soil moisture, etc.). In addition to the elements of computer automatic irrigation described above, it will not be superfluous to equip such a system with a rain sensor - if it rains, the computer will temporarily stop the irrigation program at the signal of such a sensor.
For some, installing a computerized irrigation system may seem unnecessarily expensive (of course, it is not cheap). However, in such a matter as caring for an expensive lawn of considerable size, any human miscalculation can lead to a lack of soil moisture and drying out of the sod.
In addition to aesthetic purpose, lawn mowing has practical purposes, depriving weeds of a chance to exist - mowing them is contraindicated and after several such operations, most of the weeds will be destroyed. Regular trimming will create a dense turf, high surface bushiness and stimulate the development of rhizomes. But - there is one rule: you can cut the lawn grass by no more than one third of its height in one cut (on average, the growth of grass before cutting should be 12-15 cm). Otherwise, the plants will suffer excessive damage, which they may not tolerate - do not forget that the grass is alive!
After planting the lawn grass, the first haircut is carried out when the length of the blades has reached 100 mm - you need to cut no more than 10 mm from the top. Be sure to make sure the lawn mower knives are well sharpened!
If the planting was carried out in the fall, then the first time you can mow the lawn only in the spring. In this case, the following conditions must be observed, which are mandatory for every lawn mowing: the soil layer and grass must be dry at the time of mowing! After the first mow, the mower blades can be lowered lower and lower with each subsequent mow.
Regular (as a rule, once every 5-14 days) lawn mowing is carried out before the onset of autumn cold weather.
For mowing the lawn, of course, you can use the old method - a scythe. True, it will be difficult to achieve a perfectly flat grass carpet, experience is required. It is more convenient to use a lawn mower - a garden tool that is now an indispensable attribute of lawn care. Lawn mowers are of several types: electric (price - from 3,800 rubles (with a drive, not self-propelled), self-propelled - from 14,500 rubles), gasoline (price - from 8,000 rubles. (Without a drive, not self-propelled), self-propelled drive - from 11,300 rubles), mechanical (price - from 3,500 rubles (without drive)) and battery (price - from 13,000 rubles (with drive, not self-propelled).
For small lawn areas, mechanical lawn mowers are suitable: they are easy to operate, they do not require any special care and they do not need gasoline or electricity - a person acts as a driving force. Mowing the lawn with such lawn mowers should be carried out quite often, since they cannot cope with long grass pile. However, it is these mowers that are used to mow the parterre lawn - their cylindrical mechanism is best suited for this.
Electric lawn mowers are especially fond of owners of landscaped gardens, lawn areas of which do not exceed 8 acres. If the area of the site is larger, then you will need a battery lawn mower, or the installation of several stationary electrical outlets in the garden.
The petrol lawn mower is designed for really large areas, unlike other types, it requires frequent maintenance and is also very noisy. In terms of power, gasoline lawn mowers are superior to all other types. Some models are capable of neatly mowing slopes and tackling tall grass with ease - ideal for meadow and Moorish lawns.
When choosing a lawn mower, it is important to pay attention not only to its type (electric, gasoline, etc.), but also to the following points: power, mowing width and cutting height, speed and weight, body type and principle of movement (self-propelled or non-self-propelled) … The type of knives installed on the mower matters - if you have a parterre lawn, choose a mower with a cylindrical knife (nice stripes and a neat cut will be guaranteed).
You should also pay attention to the number of wheels (if trees are planted in places on the lawn area, it is better to choose a three-wheeled lawn mower), for lawn areas over 5 acres, it is better to choose a lawn mower with a wide grip (at least 500 mm).
For really large lawns (over 10 acres), you will need special lawn mowers - riders (price - from 70,000 rubles (with drive)) and a mini-tractor (price - from 64,000 rubles (with drive)). This technique is equipped with a spacious grass catcher, so the mowing operator does not have to tediously follow such a lawn mower - he will drive it. Compared to mini-tractors, riders have great capabilities: they can be used to mow the lawn, clean leaves, moss and debris, and in winter, remove snow. They will also facilitate the procedure for introducing lawn fertilizers.
Trimmers - electric or gasoline braids
These devices are a circular knife on a long handle, rotated by a motor (electric or gasoline) located either at the top or at the bottom of the bar-handle.
Their purpose is to mow lawns in places where the lawnmower cannot climb. Electric trimmers have great advantages (price - from 1,000 rubles) - they are more compact and lighter than gasoline ones (price - from 1,400 rubles).
Other tools required for lawn care
In addition to equipment for mowing the lawn, you will need a rake, preferably fan-shaped, with springy teeth (price - from 50 rubles). They will need to collect foliage and grass felts, dry grass and cut stems after mowing with a lawn mower, if it is not equipped with a grass catcher.
You will need an aerator - a simple device with hollow teeth (aerators are in the form of sandals (foot) - the price is from 250 rubles, mechanical - the price is from 1,600 rubles and electric - the price is from 5,800 rubles). This device is designed to introduce air into the soil layers necessary for plant roots and remove excess moisture into the deep soil layers. The soil of the lawn over time cakes and compresses, it is occupied by mosses, so it is necessary to periodically pierce it with an aerator. Mechanical aerators are like a toothed roller, while electric aerators are more like lawn mowers. The latter type of aerators cause less damage to the grass cover, so they can be aerated several times during the warm season.
For processing the edges of the grass carpet, a special knife is useful (this is what it is called - a knife for processing the edges, it can easily be replaced by a trimmer if you have already bought it), to eliminate weed roots - a lawn knife (root digger) (price - from 80 rubles). With the help of a sprayer, it is easier to control weeds and pests, as well as to introduce mineral fertilizers in liquid form. A mechanical seeder (price - from 350 rubles) is useful both for overseeding planting material, and for the introduction of mineral fertilizers in the form of granules. And with the help of a garden vacuum cleaner (price - from 3,500 rubles), you can quickly remove fallen leaves and debris from the surface of the lawn.
Lawn fertilization and weed control
The first rule here is that any lawn needs fertilizer. How often to apply fertilizer - the answer to this question is directly related to how often the lawn is mowed. Cutting off the upper part of the lawn grass removes an important part of the accumulated life mass it has extracted from the soil. Lawn owner must compensate for this loss by introducing after each shearing fertilizer mixture composed of 2 g of potassium 2 g of nitrogen, and 3 g of phosphorus per m 2lawn. As a rule, such fertilizer mixtures are sold in retail outlets under the label "spring fertilizers", they must be introduced according to the instructions on the packaging from the beginning of the warm season to August. These fertilizers are designed to stimulate the development of the root system and the green part of the lawn. From the beginning of September, it is necessary to introduce "autumn fertilizers" into the soil of the lawn, which do not include nitrogen - it is intended to stimulate the active growth of lawn grass, and in the fall there is no need for this, because the lawn needs to be prepared for the cold season.
After mowing, all the cut grass must be removed - it cannot serve as fertilizer, because obtaining compost from it requires special conditions and time. In autumn, after the last mowing, it is best to leave the cut grass on the lawn, evenly distributing it over the surface of the grass carpet - in winter it will serve as a protective layer for the sod.
It is best to remove weeds from lawn areas by hand, however, this method is only suitable for single weed plants. If the weeds have seriously attacked your lawn, then apply selective herbicides to eliminate the problem.
Lawn care calendar
Lawn maintenance requires a lot of seriousness - this is the only way you can enjoy a magnificent grass carpet year after year. To make it easier to plan your tasks, here's a monthly lawn maintenance calendar.
|Month||What and why to do|
|January||The main threat to the lawn this month will be low temperatures, so after the first autumn frosts, the lawn should be at rest. Until a stable snow cover appears on the lawn area, you cannot walk - if you neglect this rule, then in the spring the negligent owner will observe brown bald patches of the affected grass on it. Lawn grass is highly cultured, which means it is less protected than wild plants.
In addition, this month the lawn is threatened by icing - the appearance of a crust of ice that blocks air exchange. It is necessary to break the crust of ice when it appears, using a rake or other improvised tool.
|February||As a rule, during this period, the lawn is reliably covered under a cover of snow and nothing threatens it. It's time to prepare the mower for the upcoming spring work: disassemble, clean and lubricate, sharpen the knives or replace them with new ones, check the insulation of the power cable and extension cord, change the oil of a gasoline lawn mower and check the spark plugs to work. Check and prepare other inventory. If at the right time it turns out to be faulty, time will be wasted, which, when caring for an expensive lawn, is unacceptable.
Check the thickness of the snow cover: if it is 200-250 mm, everything is in order, the sod is reliably protected from freezing and provided with sufficient moisture reserves at the beginning of spring. With a smaller thickness, you need to take care of snow retention - install plywood (plastic, wooden, etc.) shields on the lawn at an angle of 90o to the prevailing wind direction. You can use snow removed from the paths when clearing - it must be evenly distributed over the surface of the lawn.
Do not give in to the persuasion of children and do not arrange a skating rink on the lawn in a country house - lawn grasses can freeze at the root, as the surface layer of the soil freezes. Do not forget about the possibility of ice crust formation - be sure to destroy it.
|March||Melting snow can lead to excessive waterlogging of certain areas of the lawn - this leads to insufficient drainage of the lawn. Any puddles must be removed using a conventional forks or aeration forks (hollow teeth). Minimize movement on the surface of the lawn, as this can lead to surface defects in the form of ruts, potholes or pits (such phenomena are especially inherent in young lawns).|
|April||Does the air temperature no longer fall into the negative zone of the thermometer? It's time to introduce "spring fertilizers" - they will ensure a quick recovery of the sod after the cold winter, accelerate the growth of the lawn.
Scarify (comb) the lawn, provided the topsoil is dry. Using a rake or a regular rake, walk the length and breadth of the lawn, removing the formed felt (dry matted stems). In addition to cleaning the surface, this measure will improve air exchange in the sod and protect it from diseases.
Inspect the surface of the lawn and overseed in areas of rare grass shoots with a mixture identical to the main lawn. To do this, spread the seeds evenly in the required areas, compact these places with a roller or a wide board (a sheet of plywood), then water the entire lawn in the evening.
If, for some reason, you could not introduce fertilizers when the snow melts, do it now, after the completion of scarification and overseeding.
|May||Time for the first haircut of the season - do it by cutting no more than 1/3 of the grass. You cannot cut shorter, because the lawn is not yet strong enough. Carefully remove all cut grass from the surface of the lawn (it is better to use a lawn mower with a grass catcher), otherwise it will rot.
If you find foci of disease on the lawn, which were not helped by scarification and feeding, apply radical measures to them. It is necessary to set the lawn mower knives to the maximum cut and completely mow the area affected by the disease, then dig up this section of the bayonet blades to fully immerse the bayonet with the overturn of the earth layers, carefully loosen the dug soil with a rake. After 10 days, sow the area with a mixture similar to the main lawn.
|June||If all spring events were carried out in full and on time, then the lawn carpet looks just great now. Grooming at this time is traditional - cutting and watering. It is necessary to monitor the sharpness of the lawn mower knives - cutting with a blunt knife will lead to the death of the tops of the grass, which will acquire an ugly brown color. When mowing, to maintain the density of the grass and protect against weeds, you should keep at least 40 mm of the stem of the grass. With active growth of grass, mowing is carried out more often (every 3-5 days), at a time no more than a third of the grass stem is cut off. Every mowing should be accompanied by watering, the lawn should be watered and between mows - in dry weather. Watering is carried out either early in the morning or in the evening, for minimal evaporation of moisture. Avoid puddles.
Periodically introduce a complex of "spring fertilizers", especially if the grass of the lawn changes color from dark to light green.
|July||The hottest period affecting the growth and development of lawn grass. Adequate watering is necessary, and it is not necessary to carry out it daily - this will adversely affect the root system, inhibiting its development to the sides and in depth. The interval between waterings is determined by the first manifestations of a lack of moisture - the grass begins to fade and wither slightly. Watering is best done in the evening hours, abundantly, but not with an open stream - only broken into drops.
In the hot and dry season, fertilizer should be introduced immediately before evening watering.
Compaction of the topsoil is inevitable. Aeration and mulching will be required to maintain sufficient air exchange. The frequency of these works depends on how quickly the soil will be compacted again, and the processing of the entire area is not required - it is enough to aerate only the compacted places.
|August||Owners of Mauritanian lawns need to track the flowering periods of the plants that form it and determine the time of mowing (the moment when most annuals have already faded, and perennials have not yet started flowering). When mowing such lawns, the lawn mower blades must be installed so that the length of the plant stems after mowing is at least 80 mm. After mowing, the Moorish lawn needs to be watered, and at the end of August, fertilizer must be applied to stimulate growth and flowering.
The best methods of weed control will be fairly frequent mowing and watering - the density of the turf and grass carpet from this improves, suppressing weeds. If this method is not enough, apply selective herbicides.
|September||Autumn coolness and rains come. Cutting and watering should be continued. When thinning areas of the lawn appear, carry out overseeding activities similar to the spring ones (described above, in the May works).|
|October||It's time to prepare your lawn for the winter cold. Introduce fertilizing with "autumn fertilizers" that increase the frost resistance of lawns and resistance to diseases. To do this: at the end of the next mow, spread the fertilizer evenly by hand or using a mechanical seeder. In autumn, fertilizers containing nitrogen must not be used!
Fully aerate areas of the lawn in dry weather - this measure is necessary to drain rain moisture into the deeper layers of the soil. If you do not perform aeration, the first frosts will form an ice crust on the lawn, which is detrimental to the root system of lawn grasses.
|November||Time for the last lawn mow this year. It should be carried out either at the end of October or at the beginning of November so that the lawn grass can recover and gain 20-30 mm in height, reaching a height of 60-80 mm. A longer length of grass will freeze, a smaller one will not provide the plants with sufficient oxygen, since the leaf area will be too small.
It is necessary to frequently clean the surface of the lawn from fallen leaves, dry grass and branches, bird residues - i.e. the felt formed by all this. Otherwise, this layer will interfere with ventilation and irrigation, will contribute to the development of decay and diseases, minimizing the resistance of plants to frost.
|December||So, all the necessary measures for wintering the lawn vegetation have been taken. As soon as frosts settle, the lawn will go into a state of winter dormancy. Until a layer of snow of 200-250 mm forms, completely exclude children's games and walking animals on its territory, do not allow snow cover to be disturbed.
Monitor the formation of an ice crust, causing the accumulation of carbon dioxide under it and, as a result, oxygen starvation of plants. It is necessary to destroy it in a timely manner using a rake.
At the beginning of winter, clean and lubricate the working elements of the lawn equipment, prepare it for winter storage.
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