Broad-leaved weeds (ie any of the above) were bad enough but “problem weeds” such as speedwell, clover, trefoil or even harmless violets or primroses, were quite beyond the pale. But today’s lawns are far more lackadaisical. Now it’s fashionable to welcome weeds back. It’s also far greener, environmentally speaking. It creates a haven for wildlife in a way that the strictly-come-greenkeeping sort of lawn never did – and frankly the garden looks all the better for it.
Of course, should you still find yourself saddled with a plain grassy lawn, it’s easy to “wild” it and now is the time to start.
The golden rule is to leave well alone. Don’t be lured into using weedkillers, lawn feeds or other improving unguents. Let nature take its course.
And adjust your mower. Raise the blades to their highest setting.
You’ll need to cut the grass but every week or 10 days should be enough to keep it under control.
Grass growth slows down so it needs less cutting yet charming wild flowers appear from nowhere all on their own and month by month you should see a number of different species spring to life.
The way it works is simple. Wildflower seeds of the type that thrive locally are already present in the soil and on the breeze and all that has prevented them thriving hitherto is a combination of close mowing and high nutrient levels.
By changing to a new natural lawn-care regime conditions swing back in favour of wild flowers while curbing the more exuberant grass.
But once leguminous wild flowers such as clovers and trefoils have gained a foothold, they’ll “fix” nitrogen from the air which generates enough natural feed to keep grass going without any routine feeding, especially if you stop using a grass-box when you mow so that clippings recycle their own nutrients back into the ground. (That’s the principle of “mulch mowers” but you don’t need to buy a special machine, just use your usual mower).
The end result is grassy sward containing wild flowers, which could be anything from bird’s foot trefoil to wild orchids, all depending what occurs naturally in your area.Which means more butterflies, bees and interesting flora and fauna to spot and a garden that’s a study in health.