Rolled turf is a tightly intertwined plant roots with shoots. People grow grasses in such a way to make a natural carpet. Wildlife forms grasses on its own and a natural carpet is no worse than a specially grown one.
In the steppe, animals eat the upper shoots of plants, which does not allow the grass to grow upwards. On the other hand, the root system grows and the roots are woven together so tightly that they do not allow other plants or even the seeds of this grass to germinate. Renewal of natural lawns is done vegetatively.
But natural carpets don’t have the same appeal as grasses artificially grown on a plot. That’s why lawn cultivation has taken on an industrial scale.
Rolled lawns are gaining popularity among the owners of summer cottages and utilities. Convenience, quick laying, relatively low cost and excellent results for many years are the obvious advantages of roll lawns over sown lawns. Instant transformation of the site occurs as if by magic, and many consumers would like to know how to grow such lawns on an industrial scale.
Each manufacturing company has its own, carefully guarded, secrets of production, but, in general, the technology of growing rolled turf is universal, for many years it has proven its effectiveness.
The basis of production
The cultivation of lawn grass is engaged in crop farms and nurseries. This process is long, labor-intensive, requiring large financial investments. The basis of the basics – the soil. To obtain a quality lawn you need absolutely flat, vast areas of fertile land with a light water-permeable structure. To cultivate plantations and take care of the crops, you need specialized equipment, fertilizers, an irrigation system, and, of course, a staff of qualified specialists and workers.
Rolled lawns are of different types and purposes: parterre, sports, Universal, etc. For each of them special varieties of grasses are selected: bluegrass, fescue, timothy, and others, which are mixed in certain proportions. The quality and properties of the future lawn depend on the quality and varietal characteristics of the seeds.
Stages of work
The cultivation of rolled lawns begins with a thorough preparation of the soil. On the entire area, weeds are removed mechanically and with the help of herbicides. Then plowing, discing, harrowing, and leveling of the plantation are carried out, and the preparation is completed by compaction of the top layer of soil. In some nurseries, it is practiced to use a special grid on which the turf is grown.
Sowing seeds with simultaneous application of fertilizers is carried out with the help of professional devices. It is important to distribute the seeds evenly over the surface of the ground with an exact calculation of their number per square meter. This is the only way to achieve the desired grass density and homogeneous lawn structure.
Once the seeds are sown, sprinkle irrigation of the plantation is carried out immediately after sowing. In the absence of natural rainfall, it is necessary to water every day, in order to maintain the necessary level of soil moisture for the plants.
After the sprouts have emerged, they are allowed to get stronger, and then the plants are cut every 3 days. This is to encourage the branching of the root system that forms the sod. The stronger and denser the weave of roots is, the thicker and healthier the grass will grow. The height of the grass is kept at 2-3 cm. Mowed grass is carefully collected with a special “vacuum cleaner”. Lawn care also includes periodic aeration to allow air and moisture access to the plant roots.
Preparing the soil for growing rolled turf
Most often unpretentious grass plants are used for growing: meadow bluegrass, red fescue, climbing bentgrass and ryegrass. The proportion of grasses for sowing on the site varies depending on the future service of the pavement. Once the grass has gained strength and developed a root system, it can be cut. Therefore, cutting does not take place until the third year after sowing.
So how do you prepare the soil to grow rolled turf?
If necessary (lack of acidity or poor fertility) bring fertile soil to the site.
- If the soil of the site is clayey, a sand cushion of 10 cm is required. The layer of fertile soil should not be less than 15-20 cm.
- Herbicide treatment gets rid of weeds and pests on the plot.
- The next step is loosening the soil to a depth of 20 cm.
- After that, the soil is tamped with a special roller.
The soil is ready for sowing plants. The seeds can be sown with the use of a grid and without it.
Seeds are selected depending on the function that the rolled lawn will perform. If the site is intended solely for aesthetic purposes, then first of all select the seeds of plants with bright rich lush greenery. For plots that are intended for sports turf, choose seeds of plants that are resistant to stress.
Meadow bluegrass has the most expensive seeds, but this plant has qualities that provide a bright, silky coating, resistant to mechanical stress with a long service life.
After the choice of grass seeds is made, they are evenly distributed on the prepared soil of the plot. The top is covered with a peat-sand mixture and again rolled with a roller. On one hundred square meters of land, 2-3 kg of plant seeds are used.
Care of the seeded lawn
The main point in the care is watering. The soil should be well moistened, but overwatering and the formation of puddles should not be allowed. An automatic watering system is ideal.
Mowing the shoots is mandatory. It should not be cut short. It is better to cut more often, but little by little. Mowing stimulates the growth of new shoots. The mowing must necessarily be removed from the surface of the lawn. Rolled cover should be periodically fertilized. Thus, it is better to use nitrogen fertilizers in the spring, complex fertilizers in the summer, phosphorus or potassium fertilizers in the fall.
Weeds are removed as they grow on the plot.
With the purpose of prevention, sites are treated with antifungal drugs. If the infection still occurred, the treatment is carried out several times a year.
In winter, the site is to be thoroughly cleaned of leaves and debris. The height of plants before wintering should not be lower than 4-5 cm.
What equipment is used to grow rolled turf?
- Tractors for agricultural work and transportation.
- Spraying complex for herbicide treatment and fertilization of the soil.
- Complexes for plowing / tilling, for unrolling the mesh (depending on the technology of cultivation).
- Irrigation equipment (sprinklers, irrigation and fertigation systems, etc.).
- Seed drills.
- Modules for grass mowing and special vacuum cleaners for cleaning mowed plants.
- Turf cutters for roll up.
- Lifters, bale delivery vehicles, etc.
Cultivation of rolled turf and use of equipment in practice
The soil is plowed and treated with a special milling machine before the seeds are applied. Disking is done to break up lumps and level the soil. After that a cultivator can be used to bring the soil to the right condition for sowing seeds. Meadow grown with a special technique will serve you for 15-20 years, without losing its original form and characteristics.
Sprayer for herbicide treatment allows you to protect the roll cover from weeds for two years. Precision seeders help to put seeds to a certain depth, which plays a favorable role when cutting bales – plant roots are not damaged, fertile soil layer is not lost.
Rotary mowers are used to make the glade attractive. After mowing, the plants grow well and the meadow is dense and dense. A special technique is also used to cut the bales. For convenience, bales are wound onto plastic or metal tubing, stacked by forklifts on pallets, and transported to points of sale.
Methods of control and growth and quality of turf rolls
The easiest way to control is to use a cigarette packet. The grass has grown to the height of a cigarette packet – it’s time to mow, the transverse height of the packet is the required height of the vegetation. If there is a gap, put a cigarette pack on it. If the latter does not cover the gap, grass seed must be replanted. The size of an area equal to a cigarette packet should contain 50 shoots.
According to scientific characteristics the structure of grass should be 90%, 100 shoots should be placed on 10 cm².
The storage life of cut and rolled grass depends on temperature and humidity. Bales can be stored in refrigerators for up to four days.
Cutting, packing, preparation for sale
With this intensive technology, the lawn reaches the necessary condition in about a year and a half. During this time, the perennial grasses build up voluminous, densely intertwined, roots and acquire a marketable appearance.
The strips are cut using a machine equipped with two sharp knives. The thickness of the turf of each strip is up to 2.5 cm and the height of the grass is up to 5 cm. As a rule, the strips are 2 m long, 40 cm wide, and 0,8 m2 in size. Each piece is carefully rolled up into a roll with the grass inside out, covered with a stretch mesh, and placed on pallets for further transportation. The time interval between cutting and laying the lawn in its new location should not exceed 4 days.
With proper organization of the working process and careful observance of the technology, turf grass cultivation is a highly profitable production, providing consumers with quality, popular products.
Check the quality of grown turf before buying it
- The length of the shoots should be 7-8 cm, the thickness of the turf should be 2-3 cm. The bale should weigh about 25 kg.
- The roots should be white in color, there should be as few gaps between them as possible, i.e. the weave should be as dense as possible.
- The grass along the entire length of the bale should grow evenly, without gaps.
- The layer of the bale should have the same thickness.
- Grass should not lag behind the main bale when stretched.
Preparing the ground before rolling out and laying the roll turf
The ground of the site is cleaned of weeds, stones and roots, and mineral and organic fertilizers are applied. The ground is recultivated, and leveled, the excess is removed. The area for rolling should be 3 cm lower than the rest of the area. The process of preparatory work should be carried out immediately before the purchase of rolled turf. The purchased rolls should be laid immediately.
The rolls are rolled out in a straight line in staggered order. The edges are joined as much as possible and covered with soil. If it is necessary to cut pieces from the roll, this should be done with a sharp garden knife. After unrolling, the area should be watered. The first mowing is carried out after a month. Weeds that have broken through are to be killed immediately. Walking on the rolled meadow is not recommended for another 30 days. After this period, the meadow can be fully exploited.
Advantages and disadvantages of rolled turf
With the help of grass cover in rolls, you can quickly ennoble the area. If the rolled meadow is needed solely for decorative purposes, the landscaping will take from a few hours to one day. If the meadow is going to be active, it will take from 14 to 30 days, depending on the settling in of plants.
Meadows are rolled out on clay, stones, and sand, i.e. the soil does not matter. You can roll out a meadow on a slope and hilly terrain. Because of the dense intertwining of roots, weeds are virtually impossible to germinate.
Rolled glades have high decorative characteristics and do not need special care, except for watering.
The only disadvantage is that they are expensive.