It’s on these dull, grey February days that I start dreaming of relaxing in the sunshine on a nice lawn. It’s not always the best choice for small gardens, but most people love a lawn.
After all, grass is the most effective way of covering big areas of garden, it’s cheap (compared to paving) and relatively easy to do.
So here are some points to mull over if you want to reduce the time you spend working in your garden or if you want a lighter environmental footprint:
- Lawns don’t look out of place in any style of gardening.
- Rainwater is absorbed by grass, all this helps to prevent flooding.
- It’s soft for children to play on and comfortable to sit on.
- It makes a lovely back-drop to a garden.
So far so good, but the disadvantages of all that grass are:
- It can be the cause of lots of pollutants, think of all the carbon-dioxide caused by mowers and strimmers, not to mention the noise. Have you noticed how lawn-mowers work in sequence prolonging, the noise through the whole of Sunday afternoon?
- Most water used to irrigate lawns is generally wasted .
- Chemical fertilisers can reduce the number of beneficial organisms in the soil. Borders with a mixture of plants provide food and shelter for wildlife, encouraging them into your garden and that means fewer pests.
- A lawn has to be mown every week for a big part of the year, so that’s a lot of your time and energy being used up too.
WHAT TO DO
You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s not all gloom, here’s what you can do to mitigate the bad bits and still enjoy having a lawn in your garden:
- Reduce the size of the lawn so there’s less to cut and generally look after, remember that generously sized shrub borders always look better anyway.
- Don’t water your grass, it will recover. However if you have to water a newly laid lawn to encourage it to establish, do it in the evening so the water isn’t wasted by evaporation.
- Sow grass seed or lay turf at the right time of year on well-prepared ground so the grass gets off to a good start, then you won’t have to coax it along with extra water.
The best time for seeding a lawn is Mid-August to mid-September, then April.
If you’re using turf the best time is October to February and then March to April.
Enjoy your garden
Image: Jill Anderson