The club’s resident guru, Austen Perkins gave a talk about managing lawns. Starting with, “Grow the grass and you’ll smother the moss,” Austen gave us some advice:
- Feed the grass in spring and don’t mow too close.
- When the grass is long, set the blades for a higher cut and then mow again lower after a week. I.e. Don’t scalp your lawn.
- Worried by persistent weeds? Use a systemic weedkilller when they are growing strongly, then leave for 3 days for the poison to reach down to the roots before mowing. Don’t put these mowings round roses, but let them decompose in the compost heap.
Leave the lawn alone, applying no weedkillers or feed. The grass will revive. If you wish to tidy away the seedheads, use a high cut. Shady corners? Well, a mossy lawn under a tree can look lovely in dry weather, especially when planted with primroses, cowslips, early crocus, even cyclamen.
After the talk, members of the club were invited to consider alternatives to traditional lawns. Led by Elizabeth Goddard, a club member, they admired graceful contrasting stone effects in Japanese gardens, substitute plants to use such as Blue Star Creeper, Thyme, Corsican mint, even Creeping Jenny, bark areas, parterres, wild meadows and even artificial grass, all with advantages.