Mowing. How often?
The answer to the question, ‘How often should a lawn be mowed?’, I’m afraid is the same as the answer to the question ‘When should I wash my car?’. That answer is the answer you don’t want to hear. A little and often.
If you’re like me you’ll let your car get really filthy, which it does quite easily and quickly in the Cumbria rain. And in the winter that can mean your car does get absolutely filthy. Now, give yourselves a pat on the back if you’re like my neighbour. His car, sorry cars, are immaculately clean all year round. And getting a filthy dirty car clean is no easy matter. So here’s the answer to your nagging question about the lawn.
In late winter/early spring when it’s coming to the first cut of the season, first of all we make sure that the ground and grass are both dry. We set the lawnmower to a relatively high cut and aim to cut the lawn once a week until you know you’re properly into spring.
When it really is spring and through to summer we like to mow twice a week with the cutter dropped fairly low.
Should we be lucky enough to get a nice hot long summer (yea, right I hear you say) we cut the grass only once a week. If it gets to the point where the lawn starts to turn brown, there's a choice. You can let it go brown, trust me when it starts to rain again (say in June!) that brown will soon disappear and turn back to green again. If you must have it green, then by all means let us use the sprinkler, let’s be honest if Cumbria ever goes into drought mode we really do have problems and mowing the grass is the least of your worries! But to be serious we do need to heed any hosepipe restrictions or bans.But when did they last happen?
We sse a lawn fertiliser regularly to ensure a nice thick green lawn. And again, this being Cumbria, the good use of a good fertiliser will also help to prevent weeds and moss. As to which fertiliser? Sorry, you really do need to look at your individual lawn, the soil it’s growing on and the conditions as they exist.
We have two choices here: mechanical means and weed killers. Some of our customers hate to see the use of weedkiller, and some are more than happy to see the odd daisy or dandelion or other weed. If it gets more than that then we'll either probaly weed either by hand or using a weed grubber. We can also of course use a weed killer which can be quicker for us, but takes longer to see the effects.
Again personal preference plays a part here, some of our custommers insist on our using organic treatments others are happy for us to use chemical based ones.
There’s basically three kinds of problems, humps, dips and worn strips.
We carefully cut along three sides of a square using something like a half moon edging tool and fold the turf back. Then we carefully take out some of the extra soil and put it on a covering then flatten the remainder and lay the turf back over. After a few days you really shouldn’t be able to see the join, but if necessary we'll come back and put some soil around the cut and the grass will do the rest.
It’s basically the revers of humps! This time we make the cut again and pack in a bit more soil carefully ensuring that it’s flat. We then lay the turf back down. Again, if needs be. we sprinkle some soil round the cut and the grass will soon bridge the gap.
These are most likely to occur when you’ve regularly used the same route from one side of the lawn to the other. If it becomes a serioius problem we'll lay a path of some sort, either of stepping stones, or a gravel path.
Lawn edges can become a bit ragged for all sorts of reasons and how you repair edges may be decided by why they’re ragged!
At the start of the season we'll go round the lawn and trim the edge with a half moon edging tool and depending on the shape of your lawn we'll make sure we get a straight edge.
If you’ve been constantly standing on one part of the lawn edge and it's started to sink, or become muddy we'll carefully cut out the damaged area, re-seed and place a plank of wood temporarily along the damaged length. This will give the lawn chance to recover and when that’s happened we can take the plank away.
When we've finished mowing the grass we'll edge the lawn to cut off any long grass that's been missed.
If needs be we'll talk to you about the use of some type of lawn edging. This can be either strips of plastic, a small wooden fence or of course laying planks of wood down each edge. Whichever method is used will depend in part on what lies next to your lawn, the knid of effect you wish to achieve etc. Fitting it should be a straightforward matter for us.