Spring: Mowing in the Orchard

Mowing is a man's game. Mowers and men go hand in hand. Enough of that sexism. There is though something about men and grass. That somehow manifests itself in mowers. We are not talking small, hovering, air cushioned mowers here, we are talking petrol driven thugs with a chugging roar when they come to life and a put-put-put as they cut grass, scalp mounds and decimate borders as they accidentally go over as the male mower tries haplessly to edge. They really couldn't be arsed to go back to the shed for the edging shears and geraniums, lady's mantle and poppies grow back, right? Therein lies the old sexist lines in the garden, men do the lawn, women do the borders but the truth is that mowing your life away is a thankless, pointless task. Let's face it, one good shower and that beautifully manicured lawn is becoming a beatnik invasion and if it rains for a week you have hippy length grass. So, what is the solution?

There is no need to mow grass every week.

Don't bother. It's that simple. Grass wants to be long and there are benefits to letting it go wild. Now, we are aware that you want to get from point A to point B, so mow paths through and suddenly those straight lines you once perfected on your bowling lawn, rolled to an inch of their lives into stripes, seems rather dull as you move from the idea of straightness to something a little bit more quirky and maze like - well, if the maze was for gnomes or in our case, frogs - you can create shapes in your lawns that echo your borders and we're not asking for all of you to give up your crisp, prickly lawns that you try in vain to lie on, get a sun tan on, to eat on, to give up on after you have scratched that itch for the umpteenth time. We're asking you to not mow all of it. Let's face facts, grass is a weed, it is one of the most successful of weeds, we have embraced it but if it gets into anywhere it's not supposed to be, we scream, WEED. 

Don't mow your entire lawn, leave areas to grow wild.

Leaving your grass to go long is beneficial - see the frog maze we have created, and we do have loads and loads of frogs this year - to all sorts of bugs and mini beasts that benefit your crops. However, you will be surprised by what actually lives in your lawn, we have vetch, buttercups, daisies, thistles, ragwort, several varieties of grass that when men, high on petrol fumes and the fantasy of a sit on mower, would never have seen because the lawn would have been shorn to an inch of it's life. However, long grass retains moisture in the soil and helps in the battle of soil erosion. We will cut the grass, late in the season, allowing the seed to fall, turning it until it's dry and using it in our compost heaps. So, maybe this spring and summer we can put a halt on the battle that is fighting to get the lawnmower out of the shed, fighting to find an extension cable, fighting to stop ourselves from cutting through the extension cable, fighting to stop ourselves swearing at engines that turned over so well this year but for some reason spending six months in a cold outbuilding doing nothing has meant that for no reason at all they no longer play ball. More importantly we can all sit in our gardens without the constant fear of some mower going back and forth, back and forth when all you want to do is enjoy the sounds of nature rather than a four stroke engine.


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