by Janis on 14th March 2022 / 0 comments

Don’t worry, it always looks a little straggly

We’d reached that time of year when the lawn was crying out for its first haircut.

The lawnmower had been in hibernation since early winter, so we were ready to dust off the cobwebs and give it a run. The sun had been shining on and off for a while, so the ground wasn’t going to be too muddy or drag up clumps of grass. Well, hopefully, there was only one way to find out!

Gary usually does the first cut of the season with our old and a little weather-beaten petrol lawnmower. It has the functionality of sitting higher above the ground, which is ideal. Believe me, it can be a bit of a challenge on the upper body strength otherwise.

It may have been a little crisp when we headed out; however, in no time at all, we were peeling off the layers and relishing the bright skies.

The next step was to go electric

Not quite Wimbledon yet!
Once the first coiffure was complete and still looking rather tufty, it was time to bring out the electric lawnmower. This is where I took over and gave it a shorter back and sides. Ensure that if you’re using an electric lawnmower, keep the cable behind you, and as an additional safeguard, plug it into a circuit breaker. You don’t want to be visiting A&E halfway through your restyle.
A view across the lawn before the first cut of the season with two deciduous trees yet to bud
The lawn after winter

I feel at times our electric lawnmower is on its last legs as it has started to complain a bit in recent years. But I'm reluctant to replace it all the time it’s working and up for the job.

Our lawn certainly isn’t tennis court size; it’s around 18 feet (5.5 metres) by 40 feet (12.5 metres). But when you’re manoeuvring an orange hovercraft around the garden, it certainly feels like Centre Court at Wimbledon.

After its first trim of 2022, I think we managed to fill up about eight or nine grass collection baskets, which was pretty good going.

Ensure you put some of your trimmings into your compost bin if you have one, although I wouldn’t add it all as a composter likes a 50:50 split of ‘green’ and ‘brown’ material. You’ll also need to allow space to fork it over to give it the optimal chance of breaking down.

With hands-on my hips, let’s gauge the damage

This is going to need some TLC

Now, it was time to assess the next steps of the lawn; to be honest, it wasn’t looking at its best by a long chalk.

Our lawn has a mixture of dark, shady spots and sections fully exposed to sunshine, which can be a challenge at times.

We have some trees at the rear of the lawn, and their roots make the ground a little undulating; however, the main issue is the moss. This last year it appears to have spread like wildfire. I began raking it over with a plastic rake as the teeth aren’t as harsh as the metal ones often can be, and bundles of delicate, fluffy moss were lifting up.

A view across the lawn after the first cut of the season with two deciduous trees yet to bud
The lawn after a cut

The truth is that there is more moss than grass at the back of the lawn. So, I think it’s time to bite the bullet and rake up as much as we can and begin the process of nurturing it back to a lush lawn.

We’re going to need to strip out the old moss and accept that we will have brown bald patches for a period while we aerate it and re-seed it. This will be a bit of a ‘slowly, slowly, catchy monkey method, but I’m sure it will be worthwhile in the end.

Keep an eye out for the posts on the progress of the rear of the lawn; I can hear my grandad now lecturing me on why I left it so long and didn’t deal with it sooner.

As with any first trim of the season, it exposes the lower sections of the grass shoots, and they are never as green and nourished as they should be. However, with a little sunlight and splashes of rain, it will be perking up in no time (fingers crossed).

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