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How to keep your lawn a cut above the rest

Wild and woolly lawn? A little effort now will save you work in spring, writes Gerry Daly

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There is still time to carefully cut the grass if you want to have an easily maintained and even lawn. Photo: Adam Godfrey

There is still time to carefully cut the grass if you want to have an easily maintained and even lawn. Photo: Adam Godfrey

Corona North

Corona North

Altamont Gardens. Photo: James Burke

Altamont Gardens. Photo: James Burke

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There is still time to carefully cut the grass if you want to have an easily maintained and even lawn. Photo: Adam Godfrey

The 'non-mowing' season is almost as long as the mowing season, there's only a month or so between them. While a lawn can look well in the main growing season, it can also look very well during the 'off' season if a few small jobs are carried out in autumn and not just through the winter months but right into the next year.

However, most lawns take on a shaggy, unkempt look during the late autumn and winter and this often persists until the grass is cut in spring. Then it may mean 'skinning' the lawn in spring. However, the grass takes some weeks to recover.

Grass growth surges in September into October, making a second peak of growth after a fall-off in summer. Although this late flush of growth is nothing like as strong as the late spring/early summer surge, it is very important for restoring a good appearance after the wear of summer. Even after the 'surge' is finished, growth continues tailing off into November and even December. Only from mid-December to about mid-February is there little growth. Soil temperatures below 6C halt grass growth, but there are short periods when the temperatures rise above this level and there are stop-start periods of grass growth that occur right through winter. This varies enormously around the country, depending on location and soil type.


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