Landscaping is akin to creating an art form - a blank slate on which imagination takes shape with the use of plants, grass, water, rocks, other elements of nature, and lawns are the canvas, on which you paint. Lawn preparation entails use of proper landscaping methods to achieve the desired results after constructing the building.

Its important to mark out the area and remove all debris and rocks after erection works are complete. Any rocks larger than forty millimeters should be removed. Level out the grounds as the soil is cultivated to a depth of at least two hundred and fifty millimeters to break up large lumps of soil. Mix the soils if imported thoroughly.

Before commencement of work, spray to kill the arising weeds with an approved herbicide. Add to the landscaping lawn soil fifteen millimeters of very dry rotten manure. Cultivate it into the soil to a depth of one hundred and fifty millimeters. While thoroughly raking into the soil add about ten grams of general fertilizer DAP per square meter and work into the soil. Continue until there is slight color change to the lawn to ensure proper mixing is done.

In lawn preparation, the landscape entailed is what determines the number of levels and the land topography. If its sloppy then different levels would have to be formed to make available level surfaces. Form and grade the soil by harrowing or raking. Make the soil surface smooth before any planting starts. Any construction of retaining walls or rock gardens intended should also be completed before planting and raking so that any arising debris is removed.
Plant grass seedlings desired into the landscaped lawn at depth of fifty millimeters.After putting grass into the soil, ensure the exposed part is only a small amount of leaf. The spacing should be one hundred millimeters. Continue watering as required and remove arising weeds. Top dressing can be done to increase the height of grown grass and flatter surfaces to enable a lawn mower to cut grass equally in height. Add desired trees, shrubs and creepers.

Deviating from the conventional norms, lawns need not be part of the garden now. You can have them up on open terraces too. According to landscape architect Meenakshi Kamath of Terra Firma, there are several criteria for laying out a lush green lawn on an open terrace, the main one being quality waterproofing. She goes on to explain the process for laying out a terrace lawn saying that it all starts with waterproofing on top of which a layer of concrete screed is laid at a slope of two percent towards a drain. Subsequently, waterproofing is done again with a two-inch layer of broken Mangalore tiles laid on top over which nylon mesh is placed. The final few layers consist of 10mm or 20mm of jelly, sand and soil. Now you are all set to lay out the lawn. But in case you decide to use PVC drain cells then the Mangalore tiles and jelly can be avoided. The PVC drain cells should be placed over the screed and nylon mesh.

Lawn grasses are essentially of two types - those that grow in the warm weather, like Bermuda grass, and those that prefer the cooler temperatures. "Bermuda grass is thin, carpet-like and soft while shade grass has thicker blades and grows in semi-shade. Mexican grass however tends to grow in lumps. Bermuda grass and shade grass are ideal in case the lawn is for use whereas if you just want visual appeal, then go with Mexican grass," elaborates Meenakshi. But before you set out to lay a terrace lawn it's important for the structural designer to ensure that the base slab has been designed for soil weightage. The waterproofing should also be checked before the landscape architect is called in to design and lay the lawn.

The secret to a lush thriving green lawn is to provide it with proper nutrients and having appropriate weed control. Thus, maintenance for terrace lawns is important as in the case of outdoor lawns. Mow the lawn at least once a month and de-weed constantly. Liquid manure can be used as fertilizer and an ideal solution is a mixture of 45g of ammonium sulphate or 20g of urea in five litres of water. Neemcake is perfect for keeping insects at bay and remember to water it every five days - at least three to four inches of the lawn has to be completely soaked in water.

"A good lawn costs about Rs 35-40 per square foot but this is for a garden lawn. In case it's a terrace lawn, the costs are higher due to the use of filter media," explains Meenakshi. "The location of an outdoor garden lawn depends on the lifestyle of the person and its purpose. If you want it as a visual treat it can be placed along the approach to the house and if you want to use it as a party area then it can be laid out near the dining area." In the case of a terrace lawn you would require a minimum of 10 feet as one should be able to use it.

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