This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There is nothing in the whole range of American gardening that is the subject of so much solicitude as the proper care of the lawn. We envy the English, and are very apt to believe that if we sow good "English mixed lawn grass" it is all that is needed to have a good lawn in our country. But the secret is not the grass in the ground so much as the moisture in the air and the temperature of the atmosphere, and it requires greater skill to have good lawns here under disadvantages than there where all the circumstances favor. Of late years American lawn making has very much improved; and it is not unusual to find specimens which will bear favorable comparison with any in the Old World. In the first place we pay attention to deepening the soil before sowing the seed. Then we eschew "vernal grass," "crested dog-tail " and "white clover," the leading elements of English lawn grass, and use pure green grass, blue grass, bent grass, or rye grass, as the case may be, without mixture of any kind, and if any coarse weeds appear during the first year, cut them out, and fill any hole the digging out may leave with earth. Rolled down, the smooth earth will soon be clothed from the creeping roots of the contiguous grass.
The next thing is to mow; and here, as we have often noted of late years, great watchfulness is desirable. The great enemy of the American lawn is low creeping plants of the character of Veronicas and white clover. So long as the grass can be kept strong it will take care of these creeping things. Growing higher than they, it deprives them of light, and they do not get much chance to grow strongly; but if we cut the grass down very close to the ground the creeping weeds get all the light they need, and the upright grass blades are at a disadvantage. The lawn should be therefore carefully watched, and when there is any appearance of these creeping weeds getting power, the grass should be left longer at each cutting; then the troublesome interlopers are crowded out. As for manuring it is positively awful to see beautiful lawns covered with disgusting stable manure all the Winter long. A thin sowing of salt, or a light scattering of pure guano, chicken manure, or similar material, early in the Spring is all that a lawn needs. We have learned that several persons have offered premiums of one hundred dollars or more, for ought we know, for the best essays on the management of lawns.
If authors were to spin out the subject with a book as large as the "revised statutes" of the States of New York and Pennsylvania, they could not tell more than we have told in these few lines, and in justice they should send the cash to the publisher of this magazine.