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Maintaining your lawn is not always an easy task! Do you want to give up your lawn and its often demanding chores, without covering your space with a concrete slab? Are you looking for a more economical and less polluting alternative for your garden? Christian Chaize, Operational Marketing Manager Nalod's Delbard has decided to expose us the possible alternatives to obtain a comfortable green carpet without too much maintenance.
What are the reasons behind the fact that in some gardens the lawn has a hard time surviving?
Lawn maintenance depends on many factors such as: mowing the lawn, the frequency of mowing and its maintenance in the fall. If it is recommended to mow 5/8 cm high, it is clear that many individuals have the habit of mowing their lawn too short. Also, it is not uncommon to see weeds and moss growing. Also note that a soil poor in potash, magnesium and calcium, a space in the shade and the lack of sunshine, poor ventilation of the soil and its acidity give disastrous lawns without forgetting the attack of moles, larvae of chafer and mushrooms. It is therefore essential to take care of it regularly. To sum up, a manhandled lawn has unmistakable signs: sparse in places, the grass takes on an ugly appearance: it turns yellow, dries up and looks like a Swiss cheese overgrown with weeds. This situation can be observed after a dry and hot summer on a lawn exposed to the sun. Otherwise, that is to say in a very shady and humid situation, a moss felting can appear, suffocating the lawn and promoting diseases.
Synthetic covering, flowered grass, ground cover,… there are many solutions to replace a grass. Could you tell us about these different solutions?
Ground cover plants: Ground cover plants cannot replace the softness and smoothness of the lawn. In fact, most of them take more from the plant than from the grass. However, some: Cynodon, Zoysia tenuifolia called mascareignes lawn, Lippia nodiflora, Thymus serpyllum seem to be mistaken for lawn with the only difference being a coarse appearance, less aesthetic than the real lawn. These nevertheless have many advantages compared to a conventional lawn: limited watering and absence of mowing. On the maintenance side, this is reduced to nothing. Thus, scarification, composting and other maintenance operations may be permanently forgotten. Also note that these tracer plants can adapt to steep soils and cover difficult areas such as the base of large trees or for some endure situations of prolonged drought. In addition, some have the good taste of flowering! Be aware, however, that these plants do not provide a result equivalent to that of an English lawn. Some do not tolerate trampling, others lose their foliage in winter, still others will grow somewhat irregularly. So it's up to you to adapt the choice of your plants to the configuration of your garden! The flowered lawn: If you want to choose a flowered lawn called Japanese lawn, it is better to install a path. It is no coincidence that flowered lawns are also known under the nickname "Japanese garden". The Japanese, in fact, quickly understood that a garden can be appreciated according to the paths and that these in turn allow the pretty flowers that dot it to be preserved. Simple and quick to install, if you want to opt for this solution you will simply have to use a few markers with the help of stones and then mow the paths of your garden carefully. Practical, you will only have to maintain the path regularly so that it remains very short. Finally, ideal in gardens where the grass has trouble surviving, you will appreciate the contrast between the tall flowering grasses and the mowed paths.
The gravel : In many parts of the South of France, keeping a green lawn throughout the summer requires large quantities of water for watering. There is an alternative which is to replace the lawn with gravel in certain parts of the garden. The gravel will be used only as a surface layer placed on the ground. The usual plants will thus find the ideal substrate for their development, the gravel simply replacing the lawn. Once the plants are installed, you will spread, over the entire surface, a uniform layer of sand, gravel, pebbles or pebbles (depending on your choice) at least 5 to 7 cm thick. So this is a particularly ecological solution. Also, don't hesitate to place wood chips or other mulch from your garden center at the foot of your plantations. Also note that the crown of your plants will always be protected from excess moisture. Synthetic grass: Synthetic turf is becoming more and more like natural turf and is much more resistant to UV and wear. Thus, even low-cost synthetic turf has quite satisfactory strength and rendering. The difference is made on the material of the artificial grass, on the thickness, on the colors or even on the fire-resistant treatment. Depending on these elements, the synthetic turf in rolls can be placed on your land by following the following steps: Stripping the existing surface: Systemic weedkiller, rotofil, tiller, laying of an anti-root film, supply of sand according to land drainage or level to catch up, unroll the rollers and position the strips, fitting the joining strips, adjusting the strips, gluing, nailing on the periphery then brushing. However, it should not be believed that synthetic grass has any drawbacks: the heat can make it melt, so it is strongly contraindicated to throw cigarettes or barbecue there. It is better to ensure that your shoes are clean before stepping on it, at the risk of seeing streaks of very unsightly brown soil spread over it. Also avoid wearing studded shoes, chewing gum which will be very difficult to get rid of in the fibers, etc. Finally, note that in frost, the synthetic grass hardens, so it is strongly advised not to walk on it, because of possible slips, but also because the fibers would break.
Any advice for people who would like to opt for one of these solutions?
In my opinion, the best solution remains traditional grass. Indeed, the natural elements are much more pleasant because they live and reassures people eager for greenery. On the other hand, if you want to invest in a lawn that lasts over time and moreover, ecological, do not hesitate to opt for artificial turf. While natural grass has a lifespan of 5 years and it consumes 3.7 liters / day / m², artificial turf has an estimated lifespan between 15 and 30 years and does not consume water .