diagram of a croquet lawn
Illustration: Carl Wiens
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Building the Croquet Lawn

1. After Roger cleared the area of brush, he enriched the soil by adding 6 to 8 inches of loam, 2 inches of compost, and an inch of sand (for drainage), then tilling the three layers together.

2. To bring the soil to a pH suitable for turf grass (between 6 and 7.5), he spread starter fertilizer and lime, then raked the amendments into the top inch of soil. Once all was well mixed, his crew leveled out the surface with rakes.

3. Roger chose to sod the location rather than seed to establish a quick, lush lawn. To avoid creating a clear grid, he laid the sod in a running bond pattern, making sure the seams between pieces didn't line up with the seams from the next row.

4. Once the sod was down, he watered it every morning for the first week to saturate the soil and encourage deep root growth. After three weeks and two mowings, the lawn was ready for play; in the following weeks he cut back on watering, eventually tapering off to an inch a week.

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