KEEP­ING THE LAWN IN OR­DER FOR WIN­TER

Ruth tries scyth­ing and of­fers ad­vice on lawn care

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

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

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