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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 109 (75)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 109
Page 109

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 109

before the sand is mixed in by thorough harrowing. The resulting quality of specially treated soil depends on thoroughness in mixing as much as it does by the material used.

Dark top soils usually indicate the presence of organic matter, which, in turn, indicates a high degree of bacterial activity in the soil. Fertilizers to feed the grass can be supplied to soils of low fertility, and the resultant increase in the growth of the grass will add to the organic content and friability of the soil. The friability of the top soil, that is, its tendency to crumble into small particles, is more important than its fertility, and for that reason top soil should never be placed over existing turf without first thoroughly harrowing, spading or plowing under the sod.

Best results will be obtained if a two or three-inch layer of top soil is spread over thoroughly loosened sub soil, and the two levels are mixed by harrowing or spading. Manures are always beneficial, and should be mixed into the top soil during this operation.

Preparing the Seed Bed

The seed bed is the top two inches of top soil. In preparing the seed bed, large areas should be disc harrowed in at least two directions at right angles to each other, rolled with a medium weight roller, and smooth-harrowed to pulverize the soil. On small areas, a garden pulverizer set to work to a depth of four and a half inches will usually suffice. Much benefit 'will be gained if the surface is rolled after pulverizing and the soil is loosened by deep hand raking. Loosened top soil should be roughly raked to remove debris and large stones and to pulverize the soil, then carefully raked to finish grade.

Preparation of the seed bed calls for the following:

1. Any depressions occurring after the surface is rolled should be filled with imported soil; not with soil raked from the rim of the depression.

2. Any humps that appear should be brought. to grade by removing the soil; not by rolling or tamping it to grade.

3. The top two inches should be free from debris and stones, and should be finely pulverized.

Do all raking up the grade, as raking down the slope pulls much of the top soil to the lower areas where it is not needed, leaving the upper areas thin soiled and subject to drying out too quickly, which will result in thin, weedy turf.

If the top soil is known to have a high acid content, from 40 to 50 pounds


of ground limestone should be mixed into each 1,000 square feet of the soil by harrowing or raking. If acid exists in but a medium degree, mix 30 pounds of superphosphate into each 1,000 square feet, and plan to apply lime to the surface within a year.

If the top soil contains a reasonable amount of organic matter, as indicated by the browness of color, the use of nitrogen fertilizers before seeding is not advised. A better root system will be formed without the pre-seeding nitrogen fertilizer, and a Well developed and well placed root system means better turf at a lowered cost of maintenance.

Should it be necessary to buy top soil, insist that it be free from crab seed, or mix 15 pounds of calcium cyanamid into each cubic yard and let it remain in a pile for several weeks to kill any crab grass seed that may be present. If this is impractical, a satisfactory control of crab grass, spotted spurge and similar weeds can be effected if the following suggestions are followed:

On the finish graded soil, apply 10 to 15 pounds of calcium cyanamid evenly over each 1,000 square feet, then rake it into the top inch and a half. After the area remains fallow for ten days, loosen the top inch of the surface-no deeper *by careful raking, and sow the seed. In this procedure, technique of operation is the key factor.

While this use of cyanamid furnishes a high nitrogen content pre-seeding fertilizer, which is not conducive to the best possible root development, the assurance of a reduced crab grass liability may outweigh the value of a better root system. If the lawn area is prepared in the late spring, and dust is not a factor to be considered, reasonable weed cone trol can be effected by allowing the weeds to start, and then shallow cultivate and rake the surface eVery two weeks to destroy the young weeds and exhaust the Weed seeds. Do not deep cultivate, as this may bring more weed seeds to the surface.

The Surface Grade

The grading of a lawn is usually influenced by fixed grade points, such as the elevation of the parking area, the highway, neighboring property, and the entrance. A surface slope of at least six inches in 100 feet is a minimum safe grade for sufficient surface drainage. As loosened soil will settle, the grade of a new lawn should be one and a half

inches above the desired finish grade. There should be one or more natural or artificial outlets for the surface water, and all areas should drain toward these outlets. As poor surface drainage becomes a chronic disability for the lawn, and proper drainage cannot be achieved where absolutely level surfaces or pockets exist, a recognized landscape maintenance specialist should be consulted in developing the required surface grade.

Seed Selection

Many states require each package of lawn grass seed to be marked with a label having certain valuable information. Know what youire buying. In many cases, poor turf results when little or no thought is given to what is really wanted in a lawn. Drive-in turf has specifications as definite as those for a golf green, and before actually buying seed, those qualities should be considered.

The turf on play areas, sitting areas, and picnic areas has work to do. It need not look especially ffpretty," yet its color should be uniformly distributed. It must not retain enough moisture to dampen the sandaled feet of patrons. The manager does not want a variety which will require frequent cutting and fertilizing. With these requirements, the grass must be able to withstand heavy foot trach and the resultant compaction

of the soil, and still be fresh for the next performance.

On non-traffic and background areas, the turf must look particularly attrace tive. Little work is required of it, yet it is most important to the esthetic aspects of the whole theatre.

The third general turf area occurs only at those theatres having sod on the parking area. This turf cannot be a fire hazard, and must not require frequent clipping. Being a traffic-bearing turf, it must have sturdy crowns and blades of high tensile strength. Also,

it must furnish reasonable traction when wet.

Thus, just any seed mixture can give only temporary and partial satisfaction of these various requirements.

The highest priced seed mixtures sold by reputable seed houses can be relied upon as the best possible blending of varieties for general use. Low priced ffbargain" mixtures should be avoided, for the saving of a few dollars for seed will inevitably lead to either an increasingly unsatisfactory lawn or an abnormally high maintenance cost.

The basic varieties of grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, Colonial bent, Seaside bent, Chewings fescue, and Creep
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 109