3 of the Best Methods For Establishing Grass
We take a look at 3 methods used to establishing grass for best performance and beautiful landscapes that are sure to impress.
A well-designed landscape includes a variety of different plants optimized for their size, color, type, and season. Each designer and each job have unique characteristics that make them distinct from the others.
But there is typically one common thread throughout all landscaping, and that is the presence of grass. There is no other option that is as affordable, durable, and attractive as various grasses for areas where larger plants can’t be used.
This is not exactly news to those in the landscaping business. They understand the value and role of grass even if they make other mistakes. But what they may not know is just how many options there are for establishing grass.
Getting the grass where it needs to be with a properly-prepared site and good startup care is critical to establishing a strong stand of grass. There are several different methods for getting grass started, each with its own unique characteristics.
Methods For Establishing Grass
Sometimes a site is too big, too steep, or too difficult to access for the most common methods of establishing grass. Hydroseeding can be a perfect solution to many of these problems.
This method uses a specialized truck that’s filled with water and hydroseed mix. The truck’s pump sprays the seed and water onto the area being seeded.
Hydroseeding is widely used in mining and construction, where large areas of steep ground must be seeded quickly. It’s a great option in certain home situations, especially in wetter parts of the country where the rapid establishment of grass is critical for erosion prevention. The green dye used in the seed mix helps the operator see which areas have been covered, and the dose of water launched onto the site with the seed gives a little irrigation too.
The downside is that hydroseeding is cost-prohibitive for small jobs. Most hydroseeding companies won’t even return your call for a home lawn or small business project. In addition, the hydroseeding truck is not a precision instrument. It uses high pressure and covers long distances, so it can be very messy to use near buildings.
The use of sod to establish grass can be a very effective method. Grass is grown from seed on a sod farm, then peeled off the soil and stacked like lumber on a truck. It’s carried to the job site where it’s installed almost like patio pavers.
With sod, you can literally establish grass instantly. There is no waiting for seed to come up and no messy hydroseeding. This is especially valuable when a quick sale of a new home is desired, or when repairs have been required to an existing lawn after excavation or a home renovation.
The main challenges of sod are the cost and the upkeep. Keeping sod alive and healthy during transport to the destination site makes it more costly, and there is considerable hand labor involved in setting the sod. Also, because sod uses mature grass that has lost much of its root material during harvest, sod must be heavily watered to ensure good root establishment. The site must also be well-prepared and ready to accept the growth of roots.
We complete our list with the method most people know, the process of scattering seed on the ground and then covering it with straw mulch. The advantages of this method include its cost and simplicity; seed is relatively cheap, a seeder can be bought at any home improvement store, and the work can be done by the homeowner.
The two biggest challenges with broadcasting are the coverage and the time involved. It can be difficult to ascertain just how thoroughly you’ve seeded an area. It takes time to retrace your steps and see if you have sufficient seed in an area. And grass can take one to two weeks to germinate from seed, so if erosion is a concern, broadcasting may be too slow. You’ll also spend considerable time keeping the seed watered.
Sure Fire Methods For Establishing Grass
Grass is a necessity in almost every landscape. Getting it started is much harder than keeping it going. But the good news is that there are different seeding methods that can help you tailor your techniques to your situation, giving you the best possible chance for a beautiful green cover on your lawn.
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network
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