Turf or grass in an outdoor landscape is equivalent to a carpet in an indoor room. It’s mainly used in outdoor landscapes and not indoor plantscapes. Grass accounts for more than 80% of the area occupied by plants in a landscape, it therefore plays an important role in tying in all the other elements of landscaping into a single unit. Establishment of turf usually takes 1-3 years to completely cover an area.
Choice of turf to be planted usually depends on the use of the outdoor space. Some grass such as carpet grass is very tender and therefore suitable for golf fields or rest areas. Other grass species such as Bermuda grass and Kikuyu grass are tough or rough and suitable for rough games such as soccer and rugby. Grass requires frequent lawn mowing to ensure complete ground cover. The lawn mower or slasher should have a sharp blade and the grass should be cut at an appropriate height such that they are not too low or too high. Lawn mowing should be done sparingly during the dry months and frequently in the wet season. Frequency of lawn mowing during the wet season is because of enough moisture which favours their germination and growth at a faster rate than during dry weather. All the cut grass should be swept in the lawn area to reduce grass rot incidences.
Empty grass patches in a lawn should be refilled or replanted with new grass. For more on turf maintenance check http:// maintenance.hightechturf.co.uk
Most grass species prefer open sunny environments. However there are certain types of grass species that prefer shaded areas under trees and buildings such as Zimbabwe grass.
Turf can be established through more than one method and this include:
Use of seeds.
Sods- lamps of grass which are uprooted from one area and subdivided to fill up a new area.
Once the grass is established removal is not easy.
Land preparation for planting of grass should be thoroughly done to ensure quick seed germination and grass establishment. Sloppy areas should be levellized to reduce steep slopes. The seedbed should be finely prepared. Before planting is done the seedbed should be compacted to ensure that the tiny grass seeds do not get swept away during irrigation. See the steps in turf grass establishment here http://http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/establishment
Seeds for several grass varieties is commercially available; Bermuda grass ( 1kg costs ksh 3,800 and can plant 250 sq metre area.
Grass establishment by sods involves manually uprooting grass patches with some soil attached and moving these to new areas. Sods should not be too small and should be firmly placed in the soil and watered after transplanting. Grass establishment by use of sods is cheaper and faster compared to establishment by use of seeds. However, it is not always easy to establish large areas using sods besides, it is bulky to transport long distances. Grass should be established at the onset of long rains to ensure even and faster growth.
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