'There is no such thing as low maintenance lawns'
you complain. I can at least suggest ways to
make the management of the lawn easier reducing
the time, trouble and effort required. The first
job is to sit down with pencil and paper and
list the problems and which operations take
Do you have to use two types of machinery to
cut the grass? A mower and perhaps a strimmer
to cut close to vertical objects such as walls
and poles. Have you too much grass? Whether
you reduce the amount to be cut or eliminate
the lawn is a big decision and needs careful
thought. A well maintained lawn is undoubtedly
an asset but if it requires a lot of time it
may eventually fall into decline.
There are lots of small changes which can be
made to make life easier. Foliage which overhangs
the lawn can be a real nuisance. Tree and shrub
branches get in the way of the lawn mower and
even perennials which are planted too close
to the edge of the bed hang down and kill off
the grass. Either remove the grass from under
the trees by forming a flower bed or remove
the lower branches. This will allow you to cut
grass without bumping your head.
Widen the bed to allow the perennials to grow
without encroaching onto the lawn. Where there
are tight curves and small, right angled corners
of grass that are difficult to cut then the
lawn or bed can be reshaped to eliminate them.
It is difficult to cut grass which is growing
up against a wall or service pole. This often
results in a strimmer being used to tidy the
long grass. A simple solution is to form an
edging by removing a narrow strip of grass but
then this has to be constantly edged. An alternative
and more permanent answer is to remove a 4 inch
wide strip of grass 3
inches deep and replace it with concrete flush
with the grass. A brick edging is attractive
and quicker to lay but weed seedlings may grow
up between the joints. If you do decide to reduce
the size of the lawn be careful not to replace
it with another labour intensive feature. Planted
beds should be surfaced with landscape fabric
mulch to reduce the risk of weeds.
This is the ideal time to deal with wet areas
of grass where drainage is the only solution.
Make sure there is a fall to the outlet to allow
water to drain properly. Next summer you will
have time to sit on the lawn and relax.