Lawn design

Lesson 16. Design and classification of lawns.

Lawn as a basic element of landscape design combines two important properties: decorativeness and practicality. It is the basic background for trees and shrubs, an alpine rockery, a small pond or flower beds and the placement of small architectural forms. In addition, plants in lawns can trap noise and absorb dust. They have a pronounced phytoncid effect, cleaning the soil and air from harmful microorganisms. The root layer of lawns provides a sufficient level of moisture and protects the soil from erosion.

According to designation lawns are divided into decorative, sports and special purpose.

Decorative lawns are designed for landscaping of roads, squares, boulevards, parks and forest parks. Depending on the object, method of installation and maintenance they are subdivided into unpaved, common, meadow, marsh and lawns from flooring systems. The main condition when planning such a lawn – the area of grass cover should exceed the area of other elements of the composition.

A soil lawn is especially paradigmatic. A smooth dense surface of uniform color with low grass is a characteristic feature of such a lawn. This lawn is not intended for walking.

Normal lawn is the most common type of lawn in urban areas. The requirements for it are somewhat reduced. The choice of grass plants can be more arbitrary, the intensity of maintenance is somewhat lower than that of an unpaved lawn, but also for an ordinary lawn a good maintenance of the floor surface is required.

In places of mass recreation, in urban parks and forest parks, meadow grass near the meadows, near natural meadows in the composition of the grass is dominated by agricultural techniques of cultivation and maintenance.

Moorish lawns are arranged in small areas of urban areas.

Moorish lawn is similar to a meadow, but more ornate due to the mixture of weak haze with annual beautifully flowering plants, the selection of which is carried out throughout the season with a constant flowering of one or more species. If the conditions for growing and caring for the grasses are difficult for you, you can arrange for a lawn of low floor coverings.

Essentially, a lawn for flooring is a planting of perennial plants of the same species, which looks like a carpet. The following plants are used for such a lawn: thyme, moss, juniper, hosta, pachysandra, barberry, St. John’s wort, heather, celandine and others. Moorland lawns and lawns made of groundcover plants are not mowed or walked on.

Sports lawns are characterized by a dense, resilient turf of grasses that are resistant to trampling. They are used for a variety of sports competitions and activities.

Turf possibilities

  • -Turf (track, turf grass mixture);
  • – Rolled lawn (ready lawn is laid in rolls);

Peculiarities of care

The peculiarities of lawn growth and care determine its type. You can continue to design the site only by taking into account all the features of each grass covering.

The lawn in a dormant state.

The germination of seeds for this lawn is slow, as is their continued growth. The grasses from which this type of lawn is created are inevitably perennial. Thin bouquet grass, dog bouquet, red swingle, sheep swingle, and longleaf swingle are used.

common lawn

Regular lawns themselves germinate fairly quickly. They cost much less than partermasam. The grass of such cover has to be mowed often, as it grows very quickly in the summer. It is best to form a grass blanket from the seeds of bluegrass – meadow, oak, annual; comb common and false grass meadow.

Moorland Lawn.

Lawn should be mowed only once a year (cutting height about 10 cm). Lawn is very undemanding to the ground: it grows with equal pleasure on fertile and “fresh” floors. The only condition for such a covering is a lot of sunlight. Annual plants that make up the Moorish colorful “carpet” are not afraid of dryness and bloom all summer months.

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Sports turf.

It is never laid in a place where the water table is higher than 65-70 cm above the surface. For the arrangement of such a lawn, a mixture of 8 types of seeds is suitable, one of which dominates (up to 45-60%). As a rule, the main crop becomes Rotschwingel. The remaining components of the mixture may be common comb, Kentucky bluegrass, German pasture grass, white bouquet grass, creeping grass and common grass.

Rolled turf

Rolled turf owes its name to transportation – it is transported in a roll, like a carpet. The main advantage of this type of turf – quick installation and rooting compared to the quick sacrifice, which can be obtained in two weeks.

Preparing the soil

Grass seeding.

When creating a lawn, special attention should be paid to the preparation of its base: the quality of the lawn also depends on its quality. Remove weeds and carefully level the entire area. The floor should be compacted in accordance with the ditch. Compaction takes place with the help of a garden roller.

Seed the lawn grasses.

Sow lawn grasses with a planter or by hand in windless weather. Grasses can be sown from early spring to fall at any time. Recommended seeding amounts of 40-50 g seeds per m² should be sown for best results. It is recommended to mix the seeds thoroughly before sowing. You should divide the lawn into squares, and then divide the number of seeds by the number of squares. Divide the seeds for a square in half, sow half from left to right and the other half crosswise. By sowing crosswise, you can achieve an even distribution of seeds over the entire area. After sowing, the floor should be easily leveled with a rake to cover the seeds with a layer of soil. The last and most important activity during sowing is watering. This should be done in the evening. Water the area abundantly, but avoid the formation of puddles and longer stagnant water to avoid the formation of canals. Fertilizer under the bridle is applied in advance when preparing the soil.


Preliminary work:

  • Preliminary agrochemical analysis of the soil;
  • Clearing the construction site of debris, stones and weeds
  • Removal and storage of topsoil
  • Vertical positioning of the site surface, if necessary provision should be made for drainage
  • Preparation of the topsoil (at least 15-25 cm) by tilling and improving the existing soil by applying organic or complex organic-mineral fertilizers or by adding imported chaff.


Rolled turf can be laid from early May to November. The main condition is careful watering, which is possible thanks to the installation of an automatic watering system at the place of laying.

The lawn should be laid as soon as possible, which should not be more than 72 hours after the grass on the field has been cut.

Before laying the lawn, the surface of the ground should be loosened with a rake. Order when laying lawn strips is best maintained by laying them in a staggered pattern. Overlapping of edges is not permitted. After the entire area is laid, the joints between the lawn strips are filled with soil, you can add lawn grass seeds of the same variety from which the lawn grew. The surface is then rolled with a roller with the finished lawn to press the grass roots to the floor. The area with laid lawn is immediately buried for a week, after which the watering scheme should be reduced according to weather conditions.

Designing lawn areas with groundcover plants.

Groundcovers are used for decorating gardens and parks with unfavorable location conditions, where it is impossible to grow grasses. Such sites include dry and sunny areas with poor soil with increased acidity; permanently shaded areas (under the canopy of plantings, near the walls of buildings and structures); areas with rocky deposits, pebbles and sandy soils; trampled and wet areas.

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Plants with a wide range of ecological skills were included in the ground cover: evergreens, sanguine, duchess, creeping buckeye, Palchatocorennik, phlox, rhesus, thyme, phlox tufted, prostrate, etc. Many of these plant species bloom and shine (sedum, phlox), have a beautiful coloring of the leaves. Parts of plants are planted in the ground without pre-rooting. Soil is prepared taking into account its properties and individual requirements of plants.

Evergune, hilbweiderich, catnip, nelke, alpen-resucha, thyme, sessling and others are rooted by cuttings in spring or in late summer. Ephemeral boudra and palchatocoryne root better when rooted discs are planted in the fall. Plants should burrow the cuttings into the ground. Long cuttings are pressed to the floor, slightly covered with soil and watered for a few days until full rooting. After sowing, the entire area should be rolled with light rollers. Watering is done before and after the transfer to the planting site.

Arrangement of the lawn from these types of plants is as follows:

Lawn on your own – Steps to the perfect lawn

Lawns can only be started after all the building work on the plot is complete, when all paths are created, all flowerbeds are marked and, if possible, all the plants are planted. You can only continue planting after the lawn has taken root and all necessary precautions must be taken to protect it from damage.

The best option for the building contractor laying the lawn on your plot (or for you, if you do it yourself) is when the builders leave the ground level on the plot 15-20 cm below the level of the path and under a slope of 0, 5-1,5% (the difference is 5-15 cm per 10 meters).

Preliminary work in the creation of lawns

Before you start work, you need to understand what list of activities you need. It may be enough to restore the existing. If we come to a construction site with an existing lawn and ask to renovate it, in 30 percent of cases we will see that it is possible to restore the existing lawn and we will not force the customer with unnecessary expensive measures.

So, first you need to understand the quality of the soil in your area. If your house was built a long time ago, there is already a lawn in a certain condition and you are sure you want to make it from scratch, you need to understand the quality of your floor, whether you have problems with it Moisture in the area, enough natural light for the growth and development of lawn grass, how much variation is developed in your area, what weeds prevail, from what pests the lawn on your and neighboring plots, how drainage works on your and neighboring plots.

Removing the soil layer.

Remove a layer of soil for your lawn

If you have good soil quality, no problems with stubborn weeds, no moles that bother you and your neighbors, and already have a well-functioning drainage, if there are no problems with waterlogging and there is enough sunlight on the plot where you want to plant a lawn, you should first sow the plot with a continuous action herbicide “Tornado”, “Helios”, “Agrokiller”, “Raundap”. The preparations can be purchased in our store.

Apply herbicide according to the instructions. You can also use a mixture of drugs – for example, Tornado and Lintur. This mixture of preparations has a greater effect on all vegetation. After 2-3 weeks, you can carry out deep cultivation to a depth of 7-10 centimeters. After that it is necessary to remove all plant residues.

Site after herbicide treatment

Site after herbicide treatment

If the soil quality is poor, that there are problems with noxious weeds and a lot of mole holes, in some places water stagnates for a long time, it is necessary to remove and remove a layer of soil 15-20 centimeters thick outside the plot. Pits and mounds, the size of which exceeds 5 cm in relation to the level of the entire area are not allowed.

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If you already have a landscape design project, it will be much easier for you. Professional designs should also take into account the location of the sun rays (illumination) of the site, and the lawn should be designed in a convenient location.

Removing the top layer of soil

Distance to topsoil

Before proceeding, it is necessary to:

  1. Mark out the area where the lawn will be located
  2. Remove all shoots, all stumps and humus, stones and artificial dirt
  3. It is necessary to understand whether drainage is required on your plot, and if so, make a drainage plan.
  4. To determine the composition of the grass mixture you need to buy enough rape fertilizer in the amount of 5 kilograms per 100 square meters (100 sq. m.).

At this stage it is also necessary to decide on the installation of an automatic irrigation system. Often customers underestimate the possibility of watering their plot and opt for an automatic irrigation system after the site has already been established lawn. In this case, the installation requires breaking up the lawn, digging trenches to lay pipes and installing nozzles, which can make the whole job quite a lot worse. That’s why I recommend making the decision to install an automatic sprinkler system before the lawn is even seeded or laid on the construction site.


At this point, the decision must be made to create a drainage system. Drainage eliminates excess water and promotes better lawn development on the site. Not only does too much moisture make a lawn not survive the winter, it moves later in spring than areas with normal moisture levels. Excess moisture also leads to a strong renewal of the soil, deformation of the soil cover, the grass becomes more susceptible to various diseases.

On the other hand, the soil cover must not be dried out. If careful drainage and a thin fertile layer have been made, a lot of nutrients are washed out of the root layer, which deteriorates the quality of the grass cover. In this case, a balance must be maintained, and only a specialist with sufficient experience will tell you what kind of drainage is needed on the site. Read more about drainage in one of our next articles.

laying the drainage layer

Drainage layer

Soil structure

When arranging a lawn on your plot, not only the degree of fertility of the top layer of soil, but also the drainage, as well as the layer under it, the ability of the soil to drain the moisture, the necessary elements of security and the water air regime should be taken into account. As a rule, the soil layers under the lawn are divided into four horizons (from bottom to top): bottom, drainage layer, bearing layer, grass cover.

soil structure

Soil structure

The structure of the floor must be combined with the drainage layer. As mentioned above, drainage itself is not necessary if the water-air floor is good. Therefore, a drainage layer is not always necessary on a lawn.

Soil structure with fairly permeable soil

Floor design with soil with sufficient water permeability

The design depends on the ability to freely move moisture and drain water, as well as adequate water supply in times of drought. For each site a decision on the design must be made individually. The property of the soil used, climatic conditions, irrigation options, intensity of use should be taken into account.

The composition of the supporting (fertile) layer is very important, as it contains the root system of lawn grass. The bearing layer must have enough water permeability, stability and stress resistance, especially in wet weather. The ability of the lawn to grow for many years depends on it.

Important indicators such as density, specific gravity, pain, moisture, water permeability and hardness of the soil. The best indicators are shown in Table 2.

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Table 2. The best indicators of physical properties (Abramashvili G. G., 2006)

index value
Density (volume weight) 1,2-1,35 g/cm3
specific gravity 2.4-2.6 g/cm 3
Elongation 46-52%
Moisture content (total) 34-43%
Water permeability Not less than 50 mm/h
Soil hardness (penetration method) 18-20 kg/cm 2

These indicators depend on the mixture used (in what percentage components were used – sand, peat, clay – and in what high – mixed), on the mechanical composition (relative content and the ratio between the particles of different sizes) and the content of organic matter.

When constructing a lawn, it is necessary to maintain the thickness of the layers. The permissible value of the accumulation layer is 1 cm, drainage layer – 2 cm. Uneven thickness of the layers affects water permeability, durability, moisture and other parameters.

DIY lawn seeding

To obtain a high-quality lawn that is resistant to unwanted weather conditions and stresses, it is necessary to choose the right crops and types of grass. When selecting grasses it is necessary to take into account the future purpose of the lawn, the drainability of the site, microclimatic conditions, the possibility of agronomic measures for the care and maintenance of the lawn.

An ideal lawn should have uniform density and color of grass, uniform color, durable and resilient. It is of high quality, well developed, and has good weed growth.

The grasses in the mix should match similar properties:

  • Leaf texture,
  • The type of growth and development of the plants,
  • Coloration of leaves and shoots,
  • Disc density (density),
  • The intensity of growth of the plant that grows into the herb.

The percentage of grass seed in a mixture depends on the following factors:

  • The prevalence of species and varieties in their soil climate,
  • The rhythm of growth and development during the season,
  • Dynamics of botanical composition during the season.

The main requirements for lawn grasses: unpretentiousness to the floor, the ability of seeds, to germinate and take root quickly, to sprout early and remain productive until late fall, to form dense prostrates and leaves, to develop a strong root system that weaves into dense lawns and tolerate frequent mowing, quickly recover from damage, durability, resistance to winter, drought, diseases and pests.

When collecting seeds, it is better to use seeds of local species or from similar geographical areas with similar climatic and soil conditions. This means that Canadian grass varieties are suitable for central Russia.

Before sowing, the soil must be completely prepared – completely leveled, sown and seeded. Sowing can be done manually or mechanized. With a small area and irregularly shaped plots, manual sowing method is even preferable. Sow in windless weather, preferably in the morning or late afternoon. After sowing, you can loosen the surface to a depth of 2-3 centimeters with a stiff rake, and then roll it with a 50-80 kg hand roller.

Sowing grass on the plot

Sow the lawn at the site

If sowing is not done in a mixture, but each species or any grass individually, it is recommended to sow large seeds (Ryegrass, Lugovoi-Volosatik flaky), and then add smaller seeds on top of the sowing. To make things easier, the small seeds can be mixed with dry sand or sawdust. This may be more convenient when sowing, but it will not affect the germination later on.

A frequent cause of seedling death is the lack of moisture. Sprouted seeds begin to germinate, and this is the most sensitive phase for the plant. The floor surface must be kept moist and not allowed to form a crust, otherwise most plants may die. If you are unable to water every day during the sprouting phase, you can cover the area with a white covering sheet (e.g. Spanbond 30 g/m², for example). You can then water the lawn directly through this material as it must let moisture and air through. Remove the blanket after an average of 2-3 weeks, once the height of the lawn reaches 10-12 cm. The first mowing can be done at that time.

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Rolled turf with your own hands

A more expensive way of laying the lawn, but the result is achieved much faster. This method is called edging. Previously grown turf in any place is cut and transferred to the area of formed lawn, where it is necessary to create conditions for the survival of the finished turf and further development of the grass cover.

Preparation for lawn laying

Preparation for laying turf

The turf should be firm and even, with well-developed roots and shoots, without weed infiltration. Rolled turf usually consists of different varieties of bluegrass and red fescue, and should be 2.5-3 centimeters thick. Roll should not be “with holes”, but turf cut too thick will be less likely to take root.

Rolled lawn

Rolled turf

Rolled turf is used where it is necessary to create turf in the shortest possible time, when the soil and/or climatic conditions make it difficult for the seedlings to grow and develop after sowing.

Rolled turf is also needed when repairing old sports fields, lawns on slopes in parks and squares, edging flower beds, edging slopes and embankments, creating quality lawns around cottages and offices.

Standard size of a rolled lawn – 2х0,4 meters, area – 0,8 square meters. There should be 62 rolls in a pallet, which corresponds to 49.6 square meters. The order will cost 20-25% more because some of it goes to culling and subsequent trimming. If your lot has many curves, an area designated for turf, and is riddled with beds and paths, the order will cost 30-35% more as more trimming will be required. It is better to have 1 pallet of turf than not enough. Because of the heavy weight of turf, it is delivered by truck with a manipulator or hoist for loading and unloading. Depending on the moisture content, one pallet weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds.

Lawn trays

turf pallets

Turf is laid on well-planned, rolled soil. The preparation of the soil is the same as for seed lawn. The fertile layer may be slightly less than the layer prepared for the seed lawn. 7-8 centimeters is enough.

Before laying the lawn fertilize the soil with complex mineral fertilizers at the rate of 70 grams per square meter. Lawn cuttings should never be left for a long time in rolls. It should be placed in the field in the nursery no later than 1-2 days after mowing.

Laying of bales should be carried out with joints, i.e. bales should be laid according to the principle of bricklaying. Creation of “crosses” out of joints is inadmissible. After laying, the joints can be backfilled with a peat-sand mixture (3 parts sand to 1 part peat).

After laying the turf surface should be rolled in longitudinal and transverse directions by a manual roller weighing 80 kg. On large areas a heavier roller (up to 300 kg) can be used, but the area of impact on the soil should be higher. After that the grass is watered generously every day until it grows back. After regrowth, the watering intensity can be reduced. The first mowing is done in the transverse direction of the bale laying. Thereafter, regular watering, fertilizing, weed control and regular mowing will be required.

Rolled lawn

Rolled turf

Rolled turf can be created throughout the season. It is limited only by the timing of the beginning of planting sod in nurseries. Usually in the Moscow suburbs it is the middle to the end of May. You can lay rolled lawn before the frosts come, but in the period of such a lawn, you will see how the turf has taken root only in the next season.

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