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Lawn renovation: what to do when you've been away

I've just been lucky enough to spend a long weekend at my Holiday cottage in Normandy.  it's a 2 bed Normandy style modern cottage on a port complex, and so is perfect for a short break away, for a spot of eating cheese, drinking wine and walking along the sandy beaches, but the downside is that the garden although small, grows while we're away. It has a "lawn" - mostly a patch of weeds, surrounded by hedges which need to be kept at the perscribed 5ft high to prevent us getting letters and fines.  This weekend we spent a lot of Friday, and some of Sunday afternoon getting our little patch back in shape, - so here are my tips for those times you've ignored the lawn for too long / been away on holiday / it's rained eveytime you'd planned to get out in the garden.

1 - if your lawn looks like a meadow, don't expect your lawnmower to be able to plough through it, - use a strimmer first on the longest parts and rake the cut grass away with a spring tyne rake
2 - then mow the lawn on the highest cutting height, - if you have anything more than a small garden this is best done without the grass box on, unless you are willing to empty it out after every "stripe" - rake this up as well
3 - now cut on the highest cutting height again, at a 90degree angle to the first cut
4 - let the grass dry out for a few hours
5 - cut it on a lower cutting height
6 - edge the lawn to finish it off

this will encourage lots of growth, so plan to cut it again in 4-5 days,  - you'll now be back on track for weekly mowing again.

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