The more you look after the lawn the faster it grows. The faster it grows the more often you need to mow it.
- Don't feed the lawn.
- Don't water the lawn.
and you will not have to mow the grass that often.
Too many grass clippings will also clog up your compost bin. If you have a large area of lawn, don't just keep adding grass clippings to the compost heap. Mixing them with shredded documents or straw helps the compost process.
When you do cut the grass it is vital that you trim the lawn edges. The lawn edges tend to grow faster as they have their toes in the rich soil of the border. They also receive a lot of water indirectly when the borders are watered. The long damp grass provides an ideal environment for slugs to rest and digest various parts of your favourite plants during the heat of the day. It also gives them excellent opportunities for hit and run forays into the border.
Lawn weeds such as Dandelion, clover and creeping buttercup are very popular with bumble bees. Dandelions are a particular favourite and are one of the first food sources for emerging bumble bees in the spring. Allow the bees to enjoy the flowers and then dead head them before they have time to set seed. So the excuse for a weed infested lawn is that you are actually lending nature a hand.
This excuse can be successfully used elsewhere on the lawn. Benches or other permanent structures on the lawn have a tendency to get long grass growing around them. Trimming these long bits each time you mow the grass adds a considerable time to the general hassle of lawn mowing. If you only occasionally trim these bits, you get left with brown patches around the permanent structures.
So these long bits of grass need to be renamed as 'wildlife corridors'. Then if you get any lawn obsessed visitors criticizing your lawn husbandry, you can simply take the high moral ground.
This is not entirely all rubbish either. Long grass is favoured by a number of different creatures such as moths, beetles and insects. Of particular interest to the gardener are baby frogs. For some reason they like these areas. If you do decide to trim long grass around seats etc, check to see if there are any baby frogs and shoo them along. This is doubly important if you tend to trim using a strimmer.
Larger frogs can also venture on to the lawn, especially if you have a rather lax approach to lawn mowing. Clearly there is little resistance to lawn mowers in a frog. Wheel-mounted rotary-mowers can pass over a frog and leave it unscathed, so long a s the blades are not set too low. If you happen to spot a frog it is better to remove the frog than rely on this theory. Hover and cylinder mowers are less forgiving.
Climate change and the lawn
The garden lawn has come under some criticism in recent years for its blatant disregard for the Kyoto protocol.
During periods of drought, your lawn is criticized because it requires watering. In fact the typical garden lawn will survive perfectly well without water. It simply turns brown during dry summers and turns green again once it rains. If you live in a part of the world where a lawn would not survive at all without constant irrigation then perhaps you should not have one.
The high price of oil also gave people the opportunity to attack lawn ownership. An article in a horticultural magazine, (written by a woman with long and quite thick hair), stated that the lawn was un-sustainable because lawn mowers require fossil fuels. I wonder.. was that same logic was applied every time she got her hair dryer out?