When any new home is built, a certain amount of land is set aside to accommodate a grass area, usually several thousand square feet in the front of the home. Once the ground is level, loam is poured and leveled and sometimes stamped lightly. It is sometimes raked very lightly to accommodate a grass seed mixture, seeded, watered almost continuously until germination, hoping for no torrential rains in the meantime. You have grass!
Did We Forget Something?
Yes, the description of the lawn construction neglected to mention that the soil mentioned in this case, a standard “loam”, true, will give you a very quick and somewhat plush green silky and glistening looking excuse for a lawn, but let the rains become infrequent with long gaps between and the soil will quickly become parched, deprive roots of needed nourishment, water being the first and you will also see the grass turning brown, weeds, which generally need much less water begin to crop up all over. Your newly painted home as a backdrop may not look as it did in the beginning.
Unfortunately, this is usually the standard scenario in the evolution of new home construction, with some variations. The reason is simply the quality of the loam used to initially start a lawn. The “loam” is usually from scrapings from beneath the hay in huge fields. It is usually depleted of most of its nutrients and contains little or no decomposed organic material, or humus. To use humus to build a new lawn would be cost prohibitive, unless the purchaser of the home has the builder add this in the contract at an increased cost. The key to a “forever lawn” is Humus, but now you can do this yourself and save money at the same time.
Increasing Your Turf With Humus Will Work Miracles
Now, it certainly can”t be that simple and of course, it isn’t. It is like anything you want that will correct an age-old problem. It takes time. Well, what about cost? It may be hard to believe, but the simple process will save you money. First, there will be no need to fertilize your lawn on a regular basis, if at all, once the process takes hold.
So, How Is This Accomplished?
Whenever you mow your lawn, let most of the cuttings fall and catch some to start a compost bin. This would be a 4x4x4 loosely constructed box. All your organic yard waste will be placed in this box, along with table scraps, garden cuttings, garden weeds, etc., layering the organic material with about one inch of “loam” about every six inches. Water regularly. Turn each layer as you add. Add any earthworms you can find, or buy some from catalogs. The worms will do most of the work(with no pay).
When organic matter is well decomposed and you will know this, it will become crumbly and black in color, add some over top of selected areas of your lawn. Reseed bare spots where needed. The process will take a while, but it will begin to show results. The reason this cannot be accomplished with chemical fertilizers is because they soon leech to the water table, beyond the roots and the topsoil that is left will not hold water, so it needs almost constant watering. Also, composting your yard waste will save on lawn trash bags along with all future fertilizer and if it is done right, you will never have a brown lawn again.
For more information on the subject of “brown lawns” : see Supporting Links and Resources