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Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 3 December 2018

The Lawn Care Guide - December

Keep on top of the grass

Where we are in the country it’s looking unlikely the grass will get a final cut since most days it’s fairly wet but it would be nice to give it a last trim so it looks a bit neater.

If you have a large lawn and own a Countax or Westwood garden tractor you’ll be able to cut and collect in the wet. In drier areas you may be fortunate and able to give the lawn a haircut but not a crewcut.

Grass continues to grow in temperatures above 5°C (41°F) but you don’t want to scalp it, and leave it at the mercy of the winter, so set a higher cutting height on the cutter deck or mower blades. The usual height of winter cut would be 12-18mm for ornamental lawns, 20-25mm for leisure and 25mm+ for utility.

For that last cut you can go much higher. Whilst you’ve achieved the neat finish you want you have still left enough protection for the grass, to see it through the frosts, snow and rain. Cutting it too short also encourages moss to grow.

When there is a bit of rain look out for any waterlogging and spike or lightly aerate the area to let it drain. Note it and give it another good spiking and aeration in the spring. Opening up the soil gets air to the roots and good drainage encourages them to push deeper for a better top growth.

Another golden rule: keep off the grass when it’s frosty, you’ll only cause damage by walking on it. If you sowed a new lawn from seed in the autumn it may need a tidy cut, which you can do if it’s dry and sunny, but better if you can leave it until March/April time.

Earthworms can be a problem with their casts appearing on the lawn but you can brush them off on dry days. Make sure you get the leaves off the lawn by cutting and collecting, just using the sweeper on the garden tractor or blow them into piles with a power blower.

Jobs done, it’s time to get the mower or garden tractor and tools serviced ready for the spring.

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