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lawn, turf

Creating a uniform, three-inch, green carpet outdoors is a ridiculous idea! And yet, it makes a strong statement. It says, “Civilization exists here, on this bit of land.” It provides a clean canvas for the remaining landscape. It’s a place to picnic and play ball, too. That’s why we go to so much trouble to have a lawn, and purchase equipment and trimmers and fertilizers and herbicides to get control of the ground plane. There is nothing more tranquil than a beautifully maintained lawn.

Political arguments aside, there is a good way to have a great lawn, and luckily, the good way is also the easiest and least ecologically intrusive on the environment while still maintaining a site that is a considerate neighbor and pleasant place for nearby pedestrians. A lawn is not a natural ecosystem, however, and there are some required activities needed to keep the turf healthy and weed free.

It starts with an initial design decision. Choose the smallest area practical to establish in turf grass, and surround that area with planted beds and pavement. When people walk or drive past a huge lawn, they don’t say to themselves, “Wow, royalty must live here!” They say, “Wow, I’m glad I don’t have to keep that lawn mowed!” The smallest area of turf uses the least amount of chemicals and costs the least to maintain. Once you reduce your lawn area down to a bare essential size, you will be happier. In the process of configuring the turf space, you can incorporate creative designs that work well with circulation paths.  It’s like getting a designer haircut. Remove everything that is not essential for a dazzling look and moderate foot traffic. Simplicity should be the theme throughout your use of turf in landscape design.

Turf provides erosion control, play surface, ground plane delineation, a picnic area, a theater, and a clean, even surface. It gives uniform height and a controlled look. There are lots of herbicides and money dedicated to keeping this uniform look. Remember, the only safe use of a herbicide is the correct use, according to label instructions. There is lots of equipment used to keep the ground plan homogeneous. The landscape maintenance industry devotes much of their efforts toward lawn grasses. As a landscape designer, you must become an expert. 

The following articles are here to help you learn how to do lawns the right way, without a lot of technical language. Simplicity will be the theme throughout. Let us know how you do lawns well, and the biggest problems you face.  

For helpful maintenance tips, check out the list of articles here.

New Article! Using Herbicides Wisely

New Article! More is Less When Controlling Weeds

New Article! An Ounce of Prevention

New Article! Choosing the Best Warm Season Turf Grass

New Article! Choosing the Best Cool Season Turf Grass

New Article! Supplemental Watering

New Article! Early March - Topdress with Cow Manure

New Article! Artificial Turf

New Article! Landscape Edging

New Article! Smart Mowing

New Article! Lawn Striping

Lawns and Turf Grasses