The first rate utility lawn – A lawn in which perennial Ryegrass and broad-leaved turf grasses are dominant cannot compare in beauty with a well-kept luxury lawn composed entirely of Bents and Fescues. However, if you want a lawn which is for living on rather than just looking at then the utility grade of turf is the type for you.
The first rate utility lawn will stand up to tricycles, games, washday and all the other aspects of the lawn which is used as an outdoor living area. This is an important advantage, but not the only one – the utility lawn is able to withstand moderate neglect and some bad management without serious deterioration.
Poor-quality mowing which might make this grade of turf look unsightly could well result in large areas stripped bare in a luxury lawn. Most of the native coarse grasses which invade lawns are hidden in this type of turf – in the luxury lawn they would stand out as weeds. Additional advantages are the low cost of seed or turf and the ease with which the grass establishes itself in the new lawn.
There are, of course, disadvantages. The grass grows quickly in late spring and throughout the summer, so frequent cutting is essential. Also the velvet look is missing, but this can be compensated for to some extent by using a good-quality cylinder mower to impart a striped effect. This alternation of dark and light stripes in good-quality grass gives a distinctly deluxe appearance.
The first rate utility lawn is made up of thick, closely-knit turf in which there are some Bents or Fescues amongst the coarser lawn grasses. The most popular of these lawn grasses are: Ryegrass, Timothy and Crested Dog’s tail, smooth-stalked meadow grass, wood meadow grass and annual meadow grass. There is little disagreement amongst the experts over the relative merits of most of them.
Perennial Ryegrass aroused controversy in the past. Some felt that it should not be included in seed mixtures, but now that finer-leaved and slower-growing strains have appeared it is agreed that it has a very useful role to play.