You may not realise it, but there are many different types of lawn. For those without young children or animals who need space to run or play, creating an ornamental law is a highly attractive prospect. However, a beautiful garden doesn’t come without slightly more maintenance.
What is an ornamental lawn?
Whereas a family lawn is usually seeded with rye grass for a more robust finish, ornamental lawns use only the highest-quality seed to create a stunning look designed to be admired. Think bowling green or golf course, but in your backyard and with a bit more pizzazz. These grasses are traditionally marketed as ‘luxury seeds’, but are in fact simply finer bristles that give your lawn a softer appearance.
Ornamental grasses care is not for the faint of heart. Due to its soft, fine finish, any lapse in care will be detected immediately with the naked eye. However, if you have the time, budget and access to machinery, ornamental lawn care is a niche in the world of gardening that you can make your speciality.
Seasons come and seasons go
The needs of your ornamental lawn change like the weather – literally. In winter, your maintenance duties will essentially be reduced to making sure you don’t trample on the grass too much. However, come spring it’s time to start thinking about checking your lawn for disease, weeds or moss and formulating a plan of action.
From April you can begin to apply a lawn feed to encourage healthy growth as you move into summer and before you know it your lawn will be in full bloom and require regular feeding and mowing all the way through until autumn.
The most important aspect of ornamental lawn care is mowing, whether that’s the type of mower used or the frequency. Cylinder mowers stand head and shoulders above the competition for fine ornamental lawns, cutting the grass with a scissor action to produce a neat cut. Depending on your needs, you can either invest in a traditional hand-propelled cylinder mower or an electric alternative. Both are quiet and environmentally-friendly, so won’t disturb your neighbours if you live in a built-up area.
Cylinder mowers also allow for very low cutting heights, which is essential for ornamental lawn care. Most of this type of lawn will be cut at ½ – 1 inch during the summer months and 1.5 inches in the spring and autumn.
In ideal conditions, you should be mowing twice a week. Mowing too frequently will weaken the grass you’re working so hard to maintain and encourage the growth of weeds and disease.
The right ornamental lawn for you
It’s worth bearing in mind that your garden may not be naturally predisposed to the golf course finish you’re picturing. That doesn’t mean that creating a stunning ornamental lawn is out of reach, but you will need to take into consideration your lawn’s shape, surface, water drainage and the amount of shade it gets before setting your expectation too high.