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ACG Year Nov 2022: Pro Gallery

Keith's November

I am delighted when November actually arrives. Not because it will undoubtedly bring dark, colder and overcast days, but because it means I will no longer have to engage in the weekly mowing of the lawn(s).  Hurrah!  

Whilst I can fully understand that many enjoy this weekly, or even more, ritual, for me it is one that I do not look forward to at all.  In fact, quite honestly, it is something I manage to keep putting off and off, and it is only when I look out and see that the grass has grown over the shed roof that I know that I have to get the mower out and attempt to cut it back to a length the household can manoeuvre through.  

Now don’t get me wrong. I love to see an immaculate lawn that is well attended, weed free, cut to an acceptable length in delightful stripes, plus well-trimmed edges. It’s just that I cannot acknowledge to myself that this will be a task I will enjoy.  Far from it!   Walking up and down, emptying the cuttings catcher, remembering I need to do it before it either becomes clogged or starts spitting the cuttings over what I have just cut, does not fill me with any sense of satisfaction.  That only comes when I have finished the task, cleaned the mower and put it away.

Even with this lack of enthusiasm I have, however, taken the opportunity to find out what I should be doing to maintain a delightful lawn.  I know that cutting the lawn at a correct height, no less than 1” in normal conditions or 2” during dry spells, encourages healthier roots and conserves the water within the grass plants. It is a false believe that cutting the grass short (scalping) will prevent the grass from growing fast and hence reduce the number of times it needs cutting. In actual fact this can encourage moss and weeds into the lawn.  

I am also aware of the need to engage in scarification and aeration to maintain a lovely lawn. If your lawns are anything like mine, particularly from the drought we have experienced this year, they may have developed a layer of thatch.  Both surface and sub-surface thatch are detrimental to the overall development of turf grasses by restricting the movement of water, air and nutrients in the soil. To combat this, scarification will help to remove the surface thatch and aeration will open up the soil.  And talking of the drought, the good thing for me was that I had no need to get the mower out as regularly as I had previously.  Another hurrah!

I am aware that another cutting may be necessary before cleaning and putting the mower away and claiming victory for another year.  It is then I can relax in the thought that there it will stay until around Easter next year when I will have to start the whole saga over again.  Hmmmm!!

 Keith Emmerson

Things to do in November


Gardeners' World

ACG Year Nov 2022: Text
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