Fun Fall Container Gardening
Gardening has to be one of the most all-encompassing of hobbies. For the keen gardener there always seems to be something to do; and when there isn’t, there’s all that planning to be done, the seed catalogues to examine and the baskets and planters to consider. However, lawn care has never featured much in any of this; for many, lawn care is a reactive task, and so we just end up repeating the same mistakes year in and year out. But it doesn’t have to be that way; and below I share just a few of the tips that will make next year’s lawn care even more enjoyable and fruitful.
Just like an indoor carpet, the living green carpet outdoors gets uneven wear and this soon shows itself in bare or thin patches. Other problems like bumpy areas with dips and crests also lead to an uneven appearance and mower-scalping. So this autumn why not give these areas some special attention?
Leveling small dips and bumps in the lawn is easier than you might think. You can carefully peel back the grass and add soil or you can lightly dress areas too. Better still, after core aeration you can recycle the cores that collect on the lawn. This also means you blend in the same grass species – proper recycling!
In fact, I’d always recommend trying to match grass species when seeding areas too so that you know it will germinate and thrive. There’s nothing worse than trying to add seed that won’t always grow in your habitat.
Autumn can be a great time for seeding (and laying turf) as the weather is usually warm enough for good germination and the wetter conditions help both seedlings and new turf to establish successfully. But remember, it’s also the season for leaf-fall – make sure you clear leaves away from seed beds whenever you can.
Why is it that we’re so reluctant to redesign our lawns for easier mowing, struggling instead with impossible corners and constantly worn turning points?
Rough mowing can be traumatic to grass plants. And every lawn has its real mowing pressure points, awkward turns or tight right angles. But you don’t have to live with the scars of tight manouevres – you can redesign the lawn instead!
I suggest you try ‘cutting the corners’ a few times when you mow; find out what degree of curve allows you to maintain smooth and consistent mowing. And then reshape the edge accordingly. There’s no rule book that says you must have straight edges or boxed in corners!
It’s such a simple idea, but so effective! Your lawn easily becomes the most ‘forgotten’ part of your garden. Everything else, by budding, flowering, or losing its leaves, is a constant reminder of the seasons and the jobs that need doing. But your lawn just sits there throughout the year looking basically the same. So there is only you to remind yourself that those important jobs like aeration need to be done.
And that’s why I encourage everyone to keep a lawn diary. Not just for planning ahead either, with reminders for seasonal feeding and so on, but also to record what went well and not so well this year so that you can make it all even better next year. Good lawn care is 90% proactive – so if you want to take control and be one step ahead next year, start that diary today!
David Hedges-Gower is the UK’s leading lawn expert and has more than 36 years of lawn and turf experience. Professional grounds people, landscape specialists, commercial property developers and leisure gardeners – have benefited from David’s enthusiasm and knowledge.David is a National Trust advisor and was formerly advisor to Homebase, he is a regular on BBC Radio and a favourite on the national horticultural lecture circuit.
David’s fantastic new book on Modern Lawn Care extends his love for and knowledge of the topic. This is the first comprehensive and authoritative guide to lawn care for over 40 years!
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