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.
Your remarks on lawn culture in the June number no doubt deserve the premium you so modestly claim, but I wish you had added a few words on how to secure a good "first catch" of grass in making a lawn. What with our swashing Spring rains and weeks of May drought the seed is either washed away before it sprouts or the tender blades are burnt up, and on the dead levels in shady corners show an even green while the body of the lawn grows patchy and uneven. I have thought that a thin covering of straw would! be a good thing, retaining moisture and excluding heat, but very untidy would be the looks of it. Then, if you have a good growth, another trouble arises, you mow it once a week and just as it is looking its prettiest another drought comes along, the tender roots of your young, grass can't stand it and they begin to die out. I find by experience that you are right about late cutting and the use of coarse manure. A new-seeded plot of last year was unintentionally left without Winter covering, and L was surprised to find so much of it coming up this Spring, which at first seemed utterly dead. We have had a very severe drought lately, and all the old grass plots lost their color and looked as sere as in August, while my new plot kept green and fresh through it all.
There was a great deal of white clover in it and perhaps the shading of the soil had a good deal to do with the freshness. Sodding is slow, costly work, but in our uncertain climate seems to be the surest, quickest means of getting a compact even sod. Can you give us the surest and quickest method of sodding ?