Wild about Lawns

Lawns are a feature of most gardens big enough to have one and a fixture of British culture. If you have one, or want to install one, then April is a great time to both repair or sow a new one.

Worn edges can be repaired by cutting a slice out of the edge and turning it round so the bald patch is surrounded by grass which will grow inwards to fill the gap, leaving you once more with a crisp edge and dense growth.

Once grass is growing strongly raking it with a wire rake, in a process known as scarifying, will remove the build up of dead grass and moss. Follow this with a light scatter of organic lawn feed and you should be set for the summer.

New lawns are created most cheaply by seeding rather than turfing, and require the same preparation of clearing the area of weeds and old grass, digging over, and then compressing the soil again by walking to and fro over it with your weight in your heels to create a firm, flat surface. You rake the top 2cm to a tilth and sow into this.

Once you have satisfied your need for grass to lie on and wriggle your toes in, how about using some of your lawn to help wildlife in your garden. Simply leaving a section to grow a bit longer will help. Allowing some to go to seed is even better, but of course you can also introduce wildflowers to create a mini meadow.

Plantlife uk’s research has shown that the humble birds’s foot trefoil can support 160 species of invertibrates, The subject is too broad to cover in depth here, but one of the easiest ways to bring in wildflowers is by using plug plants. Combining your choice of flowers with Yellow Rattle which parasitises and weakens grass will help ensure the new additions thrive.

A good local source for the plants and advice is the charity Feed Bristol which run a wild flower nursery, https://www.facebook.com/feedbristol/ for details.