Monty Don warns against cutting the lawn before 21st June – and the reasons are compelling
The trusted gardener is urging us not to cut the grass just yet – and how to get the best results when we do
Garden expert and BBC's Gardener's World presenter Monty Don has shaped our gardens throughout the entire year, but unlike any of his helpful tips to date – his latest advice refers to one specific date on the calendar – the summer solstice.
See: Garden ideas – inspiration and ideas for outdoor spaces
Yes, Monty has urged us to step away from the mower until the first day of summer, but as he shares in his blog, this is not without its reasons. The main benefit to letting your grass grow for a little longer will become visible later in the year – leaving the lawn now will mean your garden will look and feel healthier by next springtime.
'By June, a million gardens are regularly humming – and at times unpleasantly roaring – with the sound of motor-mowers keeping the grass trim,' Monty begins. However, the beloved gardener's grass cutting advice counsels against doing this just now – citing the mower's negative impact on biodiversity and local wildlife.
See: Monty Don’s tips on getting the perfect lawn – and the mistakes you're making
'It is important to time the cutting of... long grass to maximize the performance of the bulbs next spring and of the grasses themselves,' he writes. 'Nothing should be cut at all until after the longest day on June 21st,' he adds.
Monty then uses the example of his own esteemed garden at Longmeadow to reveal that he exclusively mows the pathways to allow the grass elsewhere to grow as long and free as possible.
He similarly shares how he plants up this uncut grass with spring bulbs and wildflowers. Monty explains how these flowers 'look beautiful', but with their aesthetic value aside, they are also much better for insects and all wildlife, compared to a pristinely curated lawn.
Plus, restraining from your lawnmower until June 21st is also beneficial to your bulbs, as it gives them extra time to 'die back and feed next year's bulb and subsequent flowering,' he says.
Then, once the warmer summer climate arrives, Monty recommends not cutting your lawn if the weather is very hot and dry. He admits that he has left his lawn in Longmeadow until mid-August.
With your first cut of long grass, he recommends gathering it all up and taking it to 'the compost heap to stop it adding nutrition to the ground, which would encourage lusher, coarser grasses at the expense of the flowers.'
See: Best lawn mowers – for when you're ready to cut the grass
We will follow Monty's instructions just as soon as we indulge in the glory of the summer solstice. Until then, we're staying away from our mowers – because who can argue with Monty?
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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