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Why keeping a healthy lawn is so important to us all

Hollow tining aeration of a lawn.

Hollow tining aeration of a lawn.

Richard Wright

[email protected]

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 13:30

WE ALL make mistakes in the garden, don't we?

Even that font of gardening wisdom, Alan Titchmarsh, admits to the cardinal error of promoting decking wherever his Groundforce team did a makeover at the expense of valuable green spaces.

And now a renowned lawn expert, as you may expect, expounds the eco value of traditional grass. coming up with the catchy line that criticism of fake, plastic, grass in NOT fake news.

It is expert David Hedges-Gower, who reminds us of the value of that great British tradition, a proper lawn.

His Modern Lawn Care book is a handy bible on what to do to maintain and improve important green space. As a gardener's stocking filler, it's a good 'un.

It points to it now being the time to wind down the grass cutting regime and, if the weather is suitable, to hollow tine aerate your lawn.

Mechanical aerators can be hired and are a boon for larger areas, making light work of what can either be viewed as a laborious or meditative task, depending on the state of mind and time available for it.

Aeration aids drainage which leads to a healthy sward and less encroachment by moss.

Leaves should also be regularly cleared from grass beneath trees because a build-up will quickly kill grass and lead to bare patches which will quickly become inhabited by moss and plant invaders.

Hedges-Gower points to preserving and increasing domestic lawns being part of a fightback against the march of non permeable surfaces - roads, pavements, driveways and the like - and the grass that is being dug up in our gardens, schools, sports pitches and public spaces and replaced with petrochemical replacements.

There IS a place for Astroturf. It is playable when traditional turf is not but he points to healthy, living, grass being capable of absorbing both torrential and sustained rain and being a central part of a natural eco-cycle.

In addition to being less permeable plastic grass can’t support the life cycles of fauna and flora and it can’t absorb CO2 and other pollutants from the air we breathe.

Proper grass is one of the toughest plants on the planet.

Even after flooding it always comes back with a little TLC and quietly works away keeping us healthier and happier - even mowing can be a much-enjoyed pastime, not a fag - as long as you have the time...

 


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