“Lawn” may be a grand title for some of us but even the smallest patch of grass needs to look good as it is often central to most gardens.

Quite often a sorry looking lawn is the result of poor maintenance. We wait for signs of neglect and then rush out and buy a chemical “cure all.” However, there are many techniques that we can use to maintain a lush, healthy lawn.
One of the simplest yet most crucial is to mow the lawn at the correct height. Cut too short (below 15mm or ½ inch) and the vigour of the grass sward is affected and put under stress. Also too high (40mm or 1 ½ inches) and you’ll find that the coarser grasses in your lawn will start to take over.

Mainly it’s cutting too short that’s the worst as, not only does the lawn quickly look sad in prolonged dry conditions, but it also allows perennial weeds to invade the lawn and eventually start to take over. Also, when a lawn is too short it will quickly wear out under heavy pedestrian traffic. For example, it’s the difference in grass length between a bowling green and a football pitch and the difference in wear and tear that they are subjected too! The football pitch takes a lot more stick so is kept mown longer for this reason. By following this simple technique your lawn will wear out less quickly and reduce (and hopefully eliminate) the need for unnecessary weed killers. It will also stay greener for longer under drought conditions.

Another easy tip is to start to water the lawn well before the summer drought sets in and it’s looking like an African Savannah. Make sure you water in the evening or early morning as this will avoid the evaporation effect of a hot sun and get the water where it needs to be.

With these easy tips you should be able to lay out on your lush green lawn and gaze in to the azure sky and watch the wheeling swifts – all summer long!

Also try walking about barefooted on the cool grass in the peace of a nice summer evening. It’s apparently good for stress by helping lower the heart rate – but mind the thistles!

About the Author
Ged Nicholson is a professional gardener. He is passionate about using organic methods and techniques and having an holistic approach to the garden environment to maintain a natural balance. To contact Ged email gednicholson@btopenworld.com

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