"The Lawn Bible" -- David R. Mellor

If It's Good Enough for Fenway Park, It's Good Enough for Us

The Bottom Line

The chosen title for this lawn care book speaks volumes. For David Mellor, groundskeeper at Boston's Fenway Park, the lawn is not just a nuisance that has to be mowed. Mellor has a passion for lawns and succeeds in communicating his enthusiasm to his readers, via both the creativity and thoroughness of his presentation.


  • List of Web resources in appendix.
  • Helpful illustrations.


  • No photos, except a few black-and-whites


  • This lawn care book takes a "troubleshooting-from-the-start" approach.
  • Learn about equipment for seeding: spreaders, lawn rakes, weighted rollers and irrigation systems.
  • "Think like a lawn artist" and get those cool checkerboard patterns that you see on TV in stadiums.
  • Chapters on weed control, pest control and disease control aid your troubleshooting efforts.
  • This lawn care book concludes with a look at paths and play areas.

Guide Review - "The Lawn Bible" -- David R. Mellor

Mellor clears up any misconceptions right away about the audience he's trying to reach. "For those of you," he writes, "in the meadow-loving, anti-lawn contingent: this book isn't for you. This book is for the unabashed 'lawnatic'...."

Chapter 1, "The Anatomy of a Blade of Grass," includes illustrations and definitions of obscure terms like "stolon." Types of grass are discussed, laid out according to uses, advantages, disadvantages, maintenance, propagation and when to plant.

Ch. 2 deals with soil. Mellor tells us about testing soil, improving it with compost and leveling and grading it. Learn how to correct soil pH based on soil test results.

Ch. 3 covers seeding lawns, Ch. 4 sodding lawns. "You'll want to protect newly seeded lawn with mulch," he observes, weed-free hay being the best choice.

Mellor relates how to figure out the square footage of your yard, so that you'll know how much grass seed to purchase. You'll learn when and how to seed lawns, plus watering and mowing tips.

Ch. 5 discusses sprinklers and the common problem of excessive shade. The centerpiece is fertilizing info, including a breakdown of what NPK means, when and how to feed, and what to do about clippings. Chapters 6-7 contain mowing strategies and the useful chart, "Mowing Heights for Common Grasses." You'll also learn something about mower types (including reel mowers) and maintenance, and string trimmers. Ch. 8 deals with renovation: thatch-removal, overseeding and complete overhauls.