From what has been said, the importance of the lawn in front of the house can be appreciated. It is the rug spread out before the jewel-box. Over it one can view the beauty of the home, and so it needs the best attention. The very first thing to consider in building the lawn is to arrange for good drainage and a deep top layer of good soil, say 18" to 24". Pockets where water may collect and settle must be drained with tiles placed in the ground. The surface water should be carefully distributed away from the house.
An ordinary site will have stones and weeds scattered over it. In the beginning these stones should be carted away and the weeds cut down with a scythe, and a plough run over the surface to a foot in depth, unless the subsoil is not sandy and holds water, in which case a deeper ploughing is better. Then stones and weeds should be taken out of this earth, not once, but as many times as the earth delivers up stones and weeds. When this is done, the grading may be started, and this should be with long, easy grades. Where trees and shrubs edge the lawn, a slight hollow in the grade will improve it.
This graded soil is not ready for grass until it has been covered with 25 to 50 loads per acre of thoroughly decayed, composted stable manure, or, if not this, bone-dust, wood-ashes, superphosphates of lime, nitrate of ammonia, etc. This dressing should be raked into the top-soil with the harrow and hand rake, and whatever weeds and stones come up with this operation should be removed.
Grass seed should then be selected which will give the most rugged growth for the particular conditions of the site. Often this can best be accomplished by using a mixture of seed. The different kinds of grass have qualities suited to certain types of soil. For example, Kentucky blue-grass, while coarse and not so attractive as some others, grows vigorously and holds its own in sandy soil. Rhode Island bent-grass makes good sod in moist climates, and redtop is apt to die off in a drought.
This seed must be sown liberally to make allowances for loss in germination, and evenly to prevent patchy growth. About six bushels per acre is considered enough. All of this must be raked under with a fine-toothed iron rake and pressed down with a heavy roller. As soon as the blades are tall enough to be caught in the mower, this new grass should be cut, for this helps to make it grow thicker and keep down the weeds. But work on the lawn does not end here. Constant care is the price of a good one.