There are a lot of gardening products on the market, some are great…. Others not so much and I have been lucky to try a lot of them out. When it comes to keeping a perfect lawn here’s what I recommend.
My number one favourite landscaping product has to be my robotic auto mower. Mine is a Sthil ‘i mow’ but other companies also make them. I was dubious of the robot I now know as “Nigel” as I thought it might take the romanticism out of the garden, but it has in fact changed my life for the better. I spend a lot less time on lawn maintenance and much more time on garden maintenance and lawn health.
There are guide wires that sit under the lawn that keep the mower contained and it is programmed to come out, cut the lawn and return to base when low on battery or the allotted time is up.
The benefits of an auto mower are twofold, firstly the time it saves you. This extra time can then be spent focusing on other plants or overall health of the lawn…. Or dare I say sitting and relaxing in the space. You also always have a well-maintained lawn, so you’re not embarrassed if somebody just pops in unexpectedly.
Secondly a robotic mower is much better for the health of the lawn it cuts. By taking off only a small amount you never risk scalping and the cut the blades make are clean and rarely fray the end of the grass. You also allow the clippings to return to the soil so you’re not draining the soil of its nutrients as fast as if you took the clippings away.
Clean cuts are vital in all garden pruning as frayed ends increase the surface area pathogens and diseases can get into the plant. To get a clean cut you need sharp tools, when it comes to pruning shrubs and perennials, I love my Felco secateurs and I keep them sharp by running a sharpening stone over them before and after I’ve used them. For a lawn, if its small I like to use long handles edging shears on my edges for a professional crisp finish. I started using these whilst I was in England, partly as my boss at the time hated the noise of petrol-powered edger’s and partly due to the health of the lawn, you never risk scalping a section of edging. Keep these sharp with a stone sharpening tool like you would secateurs or hedging shears.
If you have a larger lawn and edging shears simply are not practical, you’ll need a whipper snipper to tidy up the perimeter (even with the robot mower working). I love battery powered as they are clean, low noise and give a great finish. When selecting a whipper snipper get one with a reversable head, like mine, so you can throw the clippings back onto the lawn rather than into the garden or on the path the lawn boarders as this will make clean up a breeze.
I think good edges really take a good lawn to great lawn status so why not define them and show them off. I love stone banding around the edge as it gives a sense of formality and restraint but for a modern look corten or weathering steel gives a crisp modern finish too.
All good lawns require water and irrigation systems have come a long way. Modern systems have weather stations communicating via Apps with the Bureau of meteorology to predict rainfall and adjusting the water usage accordingly. However, I’m old school, I still love my hose and old galvanised watering can I have however fitted a water usage gauge to tell me how much water I have put on my lawn, this allows me to know how much is just enough and then I don’t waste excessive water.