KEEPING THE LAWN IN ORDER FOR WINTER
Ruth tries scything and offers advice on lawn care
I recently took possession of a scythe, a fact that has induced mirth and fear in equal measure among my nearest and dearest.
the main reason for acquiring it was to cut back our wildflower lawn before winter. Scything seemed a pleasingly traditional way of doing so and while I didn’t go the ‘whole Poldark’ – the neighbours might have complained
– it tidied up the lawn and gave my muscles a good workout.
After cutting a wildflower lawn, leave the trimmings in situ for a few days. this lets seeds drop onto the soil for next year’s flowers, so a smaller number will end up in your compost.
If you have a more orthodox grass lawn, there are several tasks you can get on with now to keep it looking good. these include:
Scarifying: Use a spring-tined rake to give your lawn a ‘hairbrush’ and gather up moss and dead grass.
Aerating: Using a garden fork, drive holes into the lawn to improve air and water movement around the roots.
Top dressing: Apply a mix of soil, sand and well-rotted organic matter to feed the grass and improve the soil.
Edging: lawns with crisp edges look smarter. edging also removes long grass where pests can overwinter.
Flattening: level the surface by cutting and lifting bumpy areas of turf and re-distributing the soil underneath.
Spike lawns to let air circulate the grass roots Scything is a traditional way of cutting back a wildflower lawn