Beautiful garden lawns, as smooth and dense as bowling greens, are many gardeners’ dream. This dream can come true if you create perfect conditions and removing lawn moss is one of them.
Lawns are one of the most popular garden features, and for good reasons. A lawn can draw together a garden’s flowerbeds and borders, focal points and ornaments into a harmonious whole. An established, well-tended lawn provides a background of green all year round. In the growing season it offers cool, restful relief next to the brighter colours of flowers, and provides textural contrast to the bolder forms of branches and foliage. In winter, a lawn may well be the only source of green colour in the garden.
An uninterrupted stretch of grass provides a marvellous surface for recreation, whether it is kicking a ball around or sunbathing. Lawns are also particularly suitable for toddlers, allowing them to be adventurous without suffering cuts or grazed knees from hard surfaces.
However, there are also some drawbacks. If you are starting a garden lawn from scratch, it takes lots of painstaking preparation – levelling, removing debris and weeds, fertilizing, then seeding or turfing. Unlike most trees and shrubs, which, once established, more or less look after themselves, garden lawns require careful watering, mowing and feeding to keep them looking good. A poorly kept lawn gives the garden a neglected appearance.
Some grasses are more tolerant of shade than others, but no lawn will thrive in deep shade, especially under trees, where roots and the overhanging canopy of leaves make the soil bone-dry and starved of nutrients. Nor will garden lawns thrive in waterlogged soil, although some grasses are more tolerant of damp soil than others.
Most lawns are flat or gently sloping, but, depending on the soil type, you can have one on a steeper slope – a grassy bank, for instance, can make an attractive feature.
Garden lawns can also be sunken, to form a sheltered seating area and create a feeling of intimacy. However, small sunken lawns can end up as water gardens unless the soil is very free draining or there is a soak-away.
Raised garden lawns can add interest to a flat garden, while providing informal seating on the retaining wall. Small raised lawns, however, look odd and dry out quickly in hot weather. With raised and sunken lawns, easy access for a mower is important.
Whatever style of lawn you choose, keeping it velvety and green is important if you still have that dream in mind – lawn moss can be a problem and will need resolving.