lawn could never be described as low maintenance
gardening but there are ways to reduce the time
spent cutting the grass. If you have to use
two mowers or a mower and a strimmer to leave
a finished job then there is something wrong.
I hate corners. You have to
twist and turn with the mower to get them cut.
Next time you cut swing the mower round in a
curve. The grass that isn’t cut should
be eliminated by either laying slabs, gravel
or other hard surface. Where it is beside a
flower bed incorporate the offending piece of
lawn into the bed.
Gentle sweeping curves look
good and are east to cut without having to change
direction. Tight curves will force the front
wheels of a ride-on mower to go off the lawn
damaging the edge of the bed.
specimen trees planted in the lawn can be managed
providing a 3 ft circle of bare soil is kept
around the base of the tree. Where grass is
allowed to grow up to the trunk the mower will,
from time to time, hit the tree damaging the
bark and the mower as well. Never use a strimmer
close to the base of trees as it will flail
off the bark.
Overhanging branches are a nuisance
when cutting. Mature trees, especially evergreens,
will prevent grass growing or leave ir sparse
and patchy under the canopy.
The lawn should be stopped short
of other obstacles such as electricity and telephone
poles, walls and fences. Where a vertical surface
meets the grass there is a strip that cannot
be cut with the mower. A mowing strip, where
the grass is replaced with a line of concrete,
tiles or bricks, will solve the problem. Alternatively
a strip of bare soil can be maintained but it
will need to be kept weeded and edged.
banks are difficult to maintain and where a
grass cutter is used the whole operation can
be dangerous. The best option is to spray off
the bank and plant it with ground covering plants
to consolidate the soil and prevent weeds growing.
Banks forming a gentle slope can be mulched
with bark to reduce the risk of weeds. Ground
hugging plants include many junipers and cotoneasters
as well as periwinkle, ajuga and helianthemum,
the rock rose.
The surfaces of paths and stepping
stones through the lawn should be at the same
level as the grass to allow the mower to cut
over the top.
Bulbs can be naturalized in
short grass. Use early flowering dwarf bulbs
such as crocus, fritillaria and snowdrops that
have less bulky foliage than daffodils and will
be dying down by the time grass cutting is in
play equipment allows the grass to be cut without
leaving unsightly areas at the base of the items.
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