Tips from award-winning Newmarket gardener for National Gardening week (14-20 April)
Service the mower, finish off the last of the pruning and start giving the lawn a bit of tender loving care – says Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa’s professional gardener – for this is National Gardening Week.
Geoff Baker, 68, is an award-winning gardener who has tended the three-acre gardens at Newmarket’s only four-star hotel for 13 years.
He says his favourite season is this time of year, spring, because everything is bursting into life.
“Most gardeners will tell you that because this is the start of the growing season – the beginning of the gardening year.”
He takes particular pride in the striped lawns that greet guests as they drive into the estate, which used to be a hunting lodge built for the Duke of Bedfordshire in the 18th century.
“The lawn is a great first impression and when I receive compliments from guests about it there is nothing like it. I like to think it encourages those people just visiting that this is a really lovely place to stay overnight, too.”
In celebration of the Royal Horticultural Society’s National Gardening week, he has revealed his top lawn tips to Newmarket gardeners for this time of year.
He said: “Having a beautiful lawn really complements any garden and if you pay it a little attention in spring it will reward you for many months to come.”
Geoff’s Top Gardening Tips
- Your lawn should be mowed whenever the grass is growing, so that is generally weekly but can be more in this season when the weather gets warmer.
- Keep the grass at the same height, between 1-1.5 inches, although raise the mowing height for lawns that get a lot of wear or are in shade.
- Feeding the lawn with fertilizer not only makes it greener but thicker, so make sure you spend some money here.
- Aerate the lawn with a garden fork, especially if you have clay soil, to increase drainage and encourage better growth.
- If you have a moss problem you’ll need to scarify it by lifting it out from the lawn using a rake, then seed any bare patches.
“Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour,” adds Geoff.