"Can I mow my lawn after rain?" is a common question. Homeowners always have the luxury of delaying their lawn mowing until conditions improve. Commercial operators have to respect their contracts and cut on schedule.
Check out the picture below. The lawn was soaked and the contractor wanted to get paid so he cut it. Bad move. It looks horrific and I doubt his clients were excited when they got home. It would have been better to wait, even if the grass was already long.
Why? It looks ugly and it's easy for machines to rip up the lawn; or cause deep ruts.
So, yes, you can mow your lawn after rain but if your mower starts to make tracks, give up and wait.
I personally dislike empty spaces in gardens and so does nature. Left empty, this spot will invite opportunistic weeds to move in and then it'll be my job to remove them.
A much better solution would be to plant something in this space. My previous blog was about Hostas and they would fit here very well. Also ferns and other shade loving plants.
You can experiment with shade loving plants and it doesn't even have to cost too much. You can dig up native sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) in the woods-discreetly, of course!-or visit spring plant sales.
Dead spaces look awful in gardens and they will inevitably invite weeds in. Plant something instead.
Hostas are beautiful plants and they come in many different varieties. Some are tiny and some have huge leaves. By summer they produce flowers and once the flowers fade you can cut back the flower stalks.
By late fall the leaves will fade and you will have to flush cut all of it. Then you can look forward to next year.
By far the biggest mistake I see with Hostas is their placement. Hostas are shade plants which is why they are placed in a corner on my humble patio. Out in the open sun they suffer.
Hostas are perennials so they pop up every year. All you have to do towards the end of summer is cut back the flower stalks. Then, once they leaves start to fade in the fall, you can flush cut the entire plant.
Hostas are great plants but make sure they have shade!
Weeding doesn't have to be long and stressful. You can do it quickly as you walk by. Plus it gives you a chance to look at your garden and enjoy some fresh air.
I did this recently. I noticed the beautiful white morning glory flowers and photographed them before ruthlessly pulling the plan off my Skimmia. If you don't do it, it will just keep going. I know, the pulling doesn't eradicate it but it slows it down.
Another common enemy is crabgrass (Digitaria). It causes problems in lawns and it's especially ugly in planted beds. You can't let it go. Pull it nicely with roots and dispose of it.
Weeding can actually be fun. You can learn about common weeds and make your garden look better at the same time. Some weeds are fascinating.
Again, if you're too busy to weed, give me a call or text. I would be happy to help.
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT