Monday, 2 January 2017


                                          GROW YOUR LAWN

In gardens where landfill specifications have been followed scrupulously the chances of water stagnation over an extended period of time are very low. In such garden spaces level differences, slopes and draining points would normally become functional during heavy rain. In large campuses water may be allowed to drain into a pond area. The aim of land fill specifications should be to protect the land against water stagnation, as opposed to retention, to gauge topographical slopes and to work on the area surrounding the structures with landfills to allow excess water to drain off without washing away the top soil. There is very little reason to panic provided the water is drained either naturally or with a pump when we are left with a sheet of water over what was once a large expanse of lawn. 

Grass survives a bad spell of rain when the sun comes out even in short spells. At the end of the day one may be left with soggy patches bereft of grass, which needs some application of sand and manure before grass is replanted. 

Lawn areas are extremely prone to weeds during the rainy season which grow rapidly and merrily once the sun is out. The remedy of removing weeds is a slow process.

One way of preparing your lawn for the monsoon is to shave it short just before the rain. A sprinkling of manure will then help the grass grow rapidly when it finds nourishment in the form of rain. Also using the lawn mover or the scythe in wet conditions is impossible and an overgrown lawn is not a very pretty sight.

For shrubs, having small outlets to carry away the water from the base is a must since long-term stagnation of water at the base can cause decay especially among the high-end specimen plants which are plagued by survival problems. Trimming them before the monsoon is also a good idea as this will allow sunlight to penetrate to the ground level and work on the slush out there. 

It would be a good idea not to water the lawn or the plants on a regular basis if we have extended 'no rain spell' of about four days and more rain predicted thereafter as the ground will then be able to absorb more water when it begins raining.

Trees, especially the younger ones, need protection in squally conditions. The plume needs to be bound by ropes so that the crown is protected and if they have not yet taken firm roots then one need to use stakes to support them.

Large trees also need to be cared for prior to the onset of rain. The tree should be well balanced. In other words the growth of the branches must be regulated in such a way that the weight of the branches tend to grow in a lop-sided fashion in search of sunlight. In other cases civic authorities tend to chop down branches on the roadside leaving a huge bank of branches on the other half. This could lead to some branches breaking of during squally weather.

Garden equipment and fixtures also suffer some damage during heavy rain. Sprinklers and pipelines need to be cleaned professionally before putting them to use as the chances of soil clogging the network is quite high. The inlet and outlet pipes and the tiles on the wall of swimming pools and fountains need to be cleaned. All electrical fittings need to be checked before use as there is a chance of water seepage into the exposed fittings. Garden furniture will definitely ask for a dab of paint.

And most importantly one 

needs to learn from one monsoon to prevent the same problems from recurring in the next. Correction of slopes, bringing in a drain or building a small reservoir are all works to be undertaken in summer and trimming of plant materials should be timed to coincide with the onset of big rain.

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