A well-maintained, green lawn is a welcome and soothing site in a garden. Good amount of direct sunlight is necessary for a healthy and dense growth. Filtered light through trees with its large, dense canopy and shadow of tall building near the lawn will harm the lawn.

Similarly roots of the large trees also can compete with the growth of the lawn; thus near the roots of the tree, the lawn will grow patchy and sparse.

A perfect lawn is not a dream anymore and your lawn could be the envy of your friends.

Start with the right selection of the grass and a proper plan and schedule to maintain the lawn. Here are a few tips on to start your lawn.

Preparing of lawn site: Dig the ground where the lawn is to be laid up to 15 cm depth. The soil, if on inspection is found to be of poor quality, it must be replaced with good fertile soil. Good drainage is a must for a healthy green lawn.

After digging and removal of the old soil start afresh as under: • Put about 3 cm high layer of brickbats or round clinker at the bottom.

• Over this place a well mixed soil and farmyard manure in the ratio of 3 parts of soil and 2 parts of farmyard manure. Ensure that there are no stones in this mixture. It is a better idea to sieve it through a 0.50 cm sieve. This layer should be 6-8 cm thick.

• The top layer is a mixture of equal parts of the soil and the farm yard manure. To it add Lime at the rate of 1 Kg and sulphar at the rate of 0.500 Kg per 1000 square feet of lawn area as this will keep the Ph value at 6-7. For healthy grass this should also be sieved through a 0.50 cm sieve to ensure that there are no stones or derbies in it.

• With the help of a rake mix the soil well, level it and pack it with a wooden plank. If a light roller is available nothing is better.

• Next drench the site thoroughly wit water as this will help in settling the soil mix.

• Water the prepared lawn bed for seven to ten days before planting the lawn grass.

• If during this period any weeds germinate remove them manually.

Selection and Planting of the Grass: Obtain good and healthy lawn grass from a known and reputed source. It could be in tufts for planting or ready made lengths which can be laid directly on to the top soil and rolled up.

The selection of a good quality and location adapted grass is necessary for the real green and lasting lawn. The commonly available grasses in India are Doob (Cynodon) which is very hardy and is not damaged by drought or over watering. This grass is, however recommended for locations which receive direct sunlight.

The second choice is Bermuda grass. This variety is also drought resistant and can be grown even in semi shady locations. It has short leaves with thick growth and gives a pleasing carpet like look as well as feel.

Then there is local variety of grass with slightly broader leaves named Paspalum grass, which do not give a pleasing look. This variety is very hardy and needs almost no care and is suitable for even shady locations.

Paspalum is a warm season perennial grass. The leaves are slightly coarser than those of common Bermuda grass. However, when mowed regularly at heights of 1" or less, the grass produces a dense turf.

Another popular variety of grass named Korean (Zoysia) grass or Carpet grass but this has the tendency to form clumps if not regularly mowed and rolled.

The soil should be reasonably moist at the time of planting the grass. Tufts of the grass should be placed at about 4-6 cm distance. It should then be watered on regular bases for the next few days and thereafter on weekly bases. The roots of the grass would take about 7-10 days to anchor in the soil and the lawn should be ready in 30-45 days.

Watering: The roots of lawn grasses do not grow very deep. The roots penetrate 10 to 15 cm deep into the soil. Because of this regular and thorough drenching of the lawn in not needed If a sprinkler with pressure is available it is the best source for watering the lawn.

The lawn should be watered only when the top surface of the lawn seems to be turning dry. In a sandy and well-drained soil and also in raised lawns watering should be done more frequently. It should be ensured that the soil does not remain highly moist as this will produce green fungus, which is very harmful for the growth of the grass.

There is no fast rule as to the time of the day when water should be applied to the lawn; however, it is better to apply water to the lawn in the morning.

In the winters, especially in the northern parts of the country application should be done in the evening after dusk as this will help from dew formation which is very harmful to the lawn.

Mowing Mowing: of the lawn should be done very regularly, at least once a week as this ensures that the grass does not turn brown near the roots. The grass should be cut to a height which gives a carpet-like feel and look.

Small patches of lawns can be cut by lawn shears. For uniform look bigger lawns must be mowed with lawn mowers.

Fertilisation:Just like any garden plant, the lawn grass also need plant food. Application of fertilisers on a regular bases is a must. 

• Application of Nitrogen (UREA) at the rate of 0.500 Kg is sufficient for 1,000 square feet. It should be applied regularly every month.

• During winter season application of Potassium (Potash) is necessary for a good and healthy lawn. Recommended application is 0.500 Kg for every 1000 square feet of the lawn area. This also keeps the lawn disease free.

• In order to have a lush green lawn Phosphorous (Superphosphate) should be applied three to four times during a year.

Lawn Care:You have to take full care of your lawn if you wish to keep beautiful and ever green.

• Avoid trampling lawns. Pathways in lawns can be made with stepping-stones, alternatively with bricks or tiles.

• Avoid formation of mats below the roots in the soil surface as this prevents aeration of roots and water from percolating deep enough. This results in the surface soil to dry quickly.

The availability of nutrients also becomes low. In such a case the lawn grasses tend to compete with each other and start loosing the vigour and gradually turn brownish.

Regular Spiking keeps the lawn healthy. Spiking is nothing but the use of a pointed iron rod to poke the lawn surface to a depth of about 5 cm. This breaks the root mats without causing harm to the grass.

• Top dressing is necessary to maintain a lasting and healthy lawn. This must be done every six months. Cover the lawn grass with mixture of 3 parts of farmyard manure and 2 parts of good garden soil which has been sieved through a 2-3 mm sieve. Spiking and top-dressing of a lawn should be done once in 6 months. 

• Apply fertilisers on a regular base.

• Weeding is very important as the weeds could cause serious damage to the lawn.