Trim the lawn if you must then leave it alone!

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Despite all the rain we’ve had in the past few days, I still saw people mowing their lawns at the weekend.

It’s plenty late enough to mow the lawn anyway, but if it really needs doing, then the grass must be dry and the soil not soggy, otherwise you run the risk of all kinds of diseases and other problems developing over winter. Raise the blades so you just tip the grass; lawns cut short at this time of year are likely to develop moss in the coming months; if the grass is short, the moss will smother it and you will probably end up with an all-moss lawn.

If you must do something with your mower, get it in early for its annual service. It will then be in tip-top order and razor sharp when mowing starts next spring.

The one job that is vital is to clear up all fallen leaves regularly. Wet leaves lying on the surface will encourage worms; worms will make worm casts and if these are not swept away with a besom or other stiff-bristled broom, you will find little bare patches appearing everywhere. In addition, worms attract moles, and we all know what they do! Don’t leave raked-up piles of leaves on the lawn; they will ruin the grass underneath, even if only left for a day or two.

The best way to deal with mole hills is to sweep away the piles of earth, making sure none of the surrounding grass is buried. This will grow through, even at this time of year, rather as if it has been top-dressed. You may see a hole where the earth was pushed up, but this will soon fill in. The worst possible thing is to tread the molehills down. This will leave hard patches of bare earth that usually don’t re-grow with grass; the only thing likely to grow in such an environment is weed seeds.

Apart from clearing up leaves, it’s really time to put the lawn to bed for the next month or two and find something else to do!