Tips – "Separating the Grass From the Thatch”
It can be overwhelming. The internet is
crammed with lawn and gardening
. Everyone is an expert – yet sometimes their tips seem to be
completely at odds with each other. And your neighbours, family and local
garden supply dealers all have opinions too. Who can you trust?
The good news is that common sense is your
best friend in gardening. Coupled with trial and error and a few heartbreaks
along the way, you'll soon become a proficient gardener. Quite probably you'll
end up being a dispenser of your own lawn and gardening tips to everyone around
you. (But of course yours will all be accurate!)
Nevertheless, at the risk of sounding
contradictory, here are some tips that have stood the test of time.
Everyone seems to agree – don't scalp your
lawn! A denuded lawn can be burned by the sun. The grass can go into shock and
take longer to get longer to get back to its former luxuriance. And while it is
struggling, opportunistic weeds will flourish. Set your mower's blades to cut
at about 2 and a half to 3 inches – that's usually the highest level on your
Water your lawn in the morning. There's
nothing more futile than seeing sprinklers going through the heat of the day
and nothing sadder than seeing them go all night. The former is wasting water
that will evaporate. Running your sprinklers at night will risk a build-up of
moisture in roots, resulting in rot. A good watering at dawn is the way to go.
Don't sweat those grass clippings. Unless
you are cutting very thick grass (and why did you wait so long?) the clippings
on your lawn can be left there. Grass is mostly water and will break down very
quickly, releasing its nutrients back into your lawn. If you're really a sucker
for work, you can always haul it off to the composter and spread it as compost
later in the season.
Fall is your friend
a great time to plant new grass seed and many types of bushes and plants. They
will have a period of time to establish their root systems before the frosts of
winter put them into dormancy. And when spring rolls around, they'll have a
head start on health and growth.
Fall and Spring are the traditional
planting seasons - but summer is often when you have the most leisure time on
your hands. In addition to mowing
once a week or so, you can potter about the garden doing other
Here are three don'ts, starting with DON'T
prune your trees in the summer. One gardening expert says that tree-pruning
should only be done in months that have an R – which leaves out May to August.
Again, DON'T cut your lawn too short and DON'T overwater your grass.
DO water your trees. Some experts suggest
homeowners water trees for one hour per week. Deadhead your flowers and weed
those garden beds.
And, finally, DO remember
to enjoy your garden. A healthy lawn and beautiful flower beds can bring a lot
of pleasure - so make sure you are taking time to smell your roses, and
everything else you've nurtured.