Monty Don warns gardeners to wait until June 21 to complete 'important' task

Push mower cutting very long grass. Job partially complete.
Gardeners should hold off on mowing their lawns -Credit:Getty Images

Monty Don has issued a crucial piece of advice for all garden enthusiasts.

The esteemed outdoor expert has warned against a common gardening task that should never be done until the start of summer emphasising "it is important" for the health of your garden.

In his monthly blog post, the green-fingered guru advises that while many are eager to start mowing their lawns as soon as the grass shows signs of life, it's best to hold off until the summer solstice on June 21.

At his own garden in Longmeadow, Monty Don practices what he preaches by limiting mowing to only pathways and allowing the rest of the grass to flourish with spring bulbs and wildflowers.

As reported by the Express, he shared: "This looks beautiful and is so much better for insects and all forms of wildlife than a neatly mown lawn."

man mowing lawn
Monty recommends mowing garden grass after the summer solstice -Credit:Getty Images

Despite the temptation to tidy up the garden for aesthetic reasons, the 68 year old gardening connoisseur insists on timing the cutting of long grass carefully to "maximise the performance of the bulbs next spring and of the grasses themselves".

He strongly recommends: "Nothing should be cut at all until after the longest day on June 21."

By waiting until this date, Monty Don explains that it allows the foliage of the bulbs to die back naturally, which feeds next year's bulb and supports subsequent flowering.

Flowers in grass
If left to grow, lawns can blossom beautiful wildflowers -Credit:Getty Images

"The grass can then be cut if it has been hot and dry although sometimes I leave this as late as mid-August", he adds, suggesting that patience can lead to a more vibrant and healthy garden. Typically, May is when soil temperatures rise enough for grass to begin its rapid growth spurt.

Most gardeners are itching to rev up the lawnmower and turn that untidy patch of grass into a lush lawn. Indeed, Plantlife's 2019 survey indicated that many gardeners mow their lawns every fortnight.

Yet, by delaying the first cut and participating in the No Mow May campaign, you could significantly benefit UK pollinators as well as the birds and beasts that feast on them.

Overgrown grass in a garden
May is the best time for grass to shoot up -Credit:Getty Images

Launched by conservation charity Plantlife in 2019, the No Mow May initiative is back, with the organisation encouraging folks to stow away the mower for an extra month. This respite allows spring plants to bloom and seed, resulting in healthier, biodiverse gardens.

Moreover, this pause provides wild flora the opportunity to establish in May, offering vital sustenance to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators throughout the summer.

When you finally decide to trim the long grass, Monty Don advises: "You must collect it all up and take 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."

From June to August, it's advisable to mow once a week since the growth rate stabilises as soil moisture decreases. sIn case of a drought leading to extremely dry conditions, it might be wise to cease mowing altogether and let the grass grow until the rains return.

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