Autumn 2016

AUTUMN - Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfullness !  John Keats d.1821

This Autumn the weather has rolled into warm Indian Summer days, a little treat from the South of France and below.  Increasingly cold clear nights are being followed by heavy morning dews. October and early November are prime months for lawn repairs and seasonal lawn treatments.  With mild temperatures, good rainfall and fewer weeds growing.  Crane Fly (Daddy Long Legs) loves it too and been very busy, check for Chaffer Grubs and eradicate before you loose your lawn to the grubs.  Moss will increase considerably and requires treating after Total Leaf Clearance.

Non Grass Lawn.

We almost always assume the word 'lawn' is shorthand for a grass lawn.  Grass is not the only plant that can make a lawn.  The Chamomile lawn was popular in Elizabethan times,  for many years the extensive Chamomile lawns at Buckingham Palace have been much admired by the chosen few lucky enough to be invited to a Royal Garden Party. 

Lifestyle magazines tend to oversell the idea, the advantages compared with a common or garden lawn, colourful if allowed to flower, sweet smelling when walked upon.  There are drawbacks to be considered - Chamomile plants althoughlow growing do not present a smooth shaved look,  in the Winter leaves may turn brown.  It is difficult to maintain an even, closely growing turf but the most difficult element is the lack of a herbicide that can be used to control weeds that will not damage the lawn its self.

Perhaps the best plan is to create a Non Grass Lawn on a dedicated plot away from your main lawn. It would look better with a definite edge a path, wall etc. as regular edging is not practical.  Make certain the area for your 'Chamomile Lawn' is weed and grass free before you start,  so leaving fallow or an overall treatment with a herbicide is necessary before you seed or plant.

Little or no mowing will be required,  but hand weeding will be a necessary evil.  Other than Chamomile and Thyme,  other plants can be successful,  not surprisingly they are nearly all known weeds and their relatives.  Yarrow,  Pearlwort, Speedwell,  Clover and Moss.  In a non grass lawn roles are reversed,  fine leaved grasses become the undesirable weeds !