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Why your lawn looks better if you mow it less

Garden

You may have put hours into mowing and rolling your lawn to get it to bowling green perfection.

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Rather than a neatly trimmed lawn, he suggests we should allow the grass to grow and then simply mow a path through it. Picture: Kay Mongomery

But a leading garden designer says many of us are cutting our grass far too often. Dan Pearson claims leaving lawns alone will help produce stunning natural wild flowers.

Rather than a neatly trimmed lawn, he suggests we should allow the grass to grow and then simply mow a path through it. Doing so cuts the amount of mowing by 20 percent – but gives a look that is "100 percent better" he said.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, Pearson also argued against using chemicals to create the perfect lawn.

He said: "The amount of energy, time and money we spend on simply mowing our lawns is a big investment.

"And of course chemicals which are applied to lawns, I don’t do that or advocate it because they are wonderful environments in themselves and you’ve only got to allow your lawn to get four inches long to get daisies and prunella and all those little things.

"I think lawns can be very rich habitats and I’ve also started encouraging clients to leave lawns in places where they can afford to let it go long."

Pearson said gardeners could easily grow yellow rattle, a wild flower that weakens grasses and allows meadow "interlopers" to get a hold.

The designer, who has appeared on BBC’s Gardeners’ World, explained how a part-cut lawn can look more attractive than one that is just left to grow.

"A path through a lawn – the juxtaposition of the two is a very wonderful aesthetic," he said.

"If you were just to leave the lawn to grow there’s a feeling of neglect which you don’t get if you mow half or leave a sharp edge to it.

"So you might be able to reduce your mowing down by 20 percent by simply mowing an edge or a path and you get an aesthetic which is 100 percent better. So I’m all for people leaving lawns."

Pearson bemoaned the lack of teenagers willing to cut the grass, adding: "I think the most important thing is to find somebody younger to mow the lawn."

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