first-bbit-of-gardening-and-its-already-gone-wrong

i recently ripped out everything that was in my garden and decided now i have a son whos able to walk i'd love to give him a garden. so i started with the basics..... Grass.

after a few tonnes of soil to level out, lots of grass seed, water, raking, re-seeding etc etc. i ended up with grass varying from 8 inchs - 2 feet

how much of the grass should i be cutting in one go and how often should i be cutting it as i want it all the same length but have been advised againts just letting loose with a flymo

thanks

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Posts

  • Wellimage

    You should not have let it go to 2 feet ot even eight inchesimage

    You need to cut it now but on the highest setting-not scalp it-but with a flymo that could be tricky-then gradually cut it shorter over the coming 2/3 weeks.

    So not all in one go -but gradually.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Not sure I'm fully grasping the problem  antony - why is the grass such different lengths? Do you have hollows and bumps in the ground or the type of seed you've used?

    Normally you cut about a third of the height off, and cut once a week or so in the growing season, so you'd need a mower that you could adjust accordingly so that you can gradually reduce it's height withou causing too much stress to the grass. If you can't do that, you'll have to just cut it and let it grow to a reasonable height that will suit the mower you have, then maintain it.  When it's around 3" long that's the stage when you'd say 'it's badly needing cut!' Aim to keep it around a couple of inches long during the summer months so that it doesn't get parched and brown if there's not much rain. It  depends on the type of climate you have in your area too,so it may not need to cut as often in dry areas but may need more in wetter ones. 

    Hope that's of some use but if you can post a pic or give more info it helps too! image

  • Thanks for that Fairlygirl, it ended up at different lengths due to a combination of things... The awkward hours i work, patches not growing to begin with and needing re-seeding, then with the rain we had i couldn't get the lawn mower out, i've just had twins too so for the past few months its been more important for me to do things inside the house than out an its just ended up very long in patches and very short in others. I'll get the shears out and gradually start snipping until its a managable height for the lawn mower to handle. Thanks again

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Antony - perhaps you could invest in some sheep if the flymo's no good!!

    You have plenty on your plate with new twins so I wouldn't worry too much about the grass. If you chop it down and let it get back to a manageable height you can take it from there! In another month the growth will slow a bit anyway and you'll get some rain in the coming weeks to revive it, so it won't be too bad going into the autumn and winter.  Then you can start on it next spring with a new maintenance programme!  image

  • well, i did as you said Fairygirl..... and it looks a damn sight better than i thought. At first it worried me that by cutting back so much i'd damage the grass but luckily we haven't had much sun but a lot of rain... however, i now have another problem. when i walk over the grass hundreds of little tiny flying things all shoot up in the air as if they're escaping but i don't know what they are (my mrs says that maybe they're gnats laying eggs as we usually have big clouds of them appear in the evening and also i've noticed a fair few wasps landing on the now very short grass and scurrying about?? are they laying eggs too? if so how can i stop them as the last thing i want is to be stung by the bloody things.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Wasps are great predators antony so they're probably just eating whatever's there. Crane flies lay their eggs in the grass but it doesn't sound as if that's what you're seeing if they seem to be small. Don't have any experience of gnats but perhaps that's the answer. Someone else will probably know. image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    Now the grass is shorter the birds will be able to get at all the insects so they won't be a problem image

    When I told someone he needed to mow his lawn at least once a week in the summer he was appalled - it seems he used to mow it a couple of times a year imageNevertheless we still bought the houseimage.

    Now OH is following my lawn-mowing instructions and the lawn is getting better and better.

    Lawns need mowing more often than a lot of people realise if you want a lovely thick and soft greensward that your twins will be able to run about on barefoot next summer image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Yes- mowing's best done little and often...like so many things in life! image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Well it's only grass and  I think Antony just wants somewhere for his children to play - he's not looking to take up crocquet or bowls. Easy to get a bit precious about it all. Keeping it tidy is all that's needed for the time being I should think - enough to do when you have 3 small children! image

    .

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