Garden expert and BBCs Gardening world Moderator Monty Don has shaped our gardens year-round, but unlike his helpful tips so far, his latest advice relates to a specific date on the calendar – the summer solstice.
See: Garden ideas – Inspiration and ideas for outdoor spaces
Yes, Monty urged us to step back from the mower until the first day of summer, but how he participates in his Blog, there are reasons for this. The main benefit of growing your grass a little longer will become apparent later in the year – if you leave the lawn now, your garden will look and feel healthier by next spring.
“By June, a million gardens are buzzing regularly – and sometimes with an unpleasant boom – with the sound of motor mowers trimming the grass,” begins Monty. But the beloved gardener Tips for mowing the lawn advises against doing this right now – citing the mower’s negative impact on biodiversity and local wildlife.
See: Monty Don’s tips for the perfect lawn – and the mistakes you make
“It is important to plan the cutting of … long grass to maximize the performance of the bulbs next spring and the grasses themselves,” he writes. “Nothing should be cut at all until after the longest day on June 21,” he adds.
Monty then uses the example of his own cherished garden at Longmeadow to show that he only mows the paths so that the grass elsewhere can grow as long and free as possible.
He also tells how he plants this uncut grass with spring onions and wildflowers. Monty explains how these flowers “look beautiful,” but aside from their aesthetic value, they are also much better for insects and all wildlife compared to an immaculately manicured lawn.
Additionally, skipping your lawnmower by June 21 is also beneficial for your bulbs, as it will give them extra time to “die back and feed the next year’s bulbs and flowering,” he says.
Once the warmer summer climate hits, Monty recommends avoiding pruning your lawn when the weather is very hot and dry. He admits he left his Longmeadow lawn by mid-August.
When you first cut tall grass, he recommends gathering everything up and putting it on the compost heap so that it doesn’t add nutrients to the soil that lush, coarser grasses would promote at the expense of flowers.
See: The best lawn mowers – when you are ready to mow the grass
We will follow Monty’s instructions as soon as we indulge in the glory of the summer solstice. Until then, we’ll stay away from our mowers – because who can argue with Monty?