It’s Wimbledon season! Are there many other events that are as quintessentially British in the annual sporting calendar? Cue mentions of strawberries & cream, Pimm’s and orderly queues. ‘Henman Hill’, ‘Murray Mound’ and Cliff Richard’s infamous impromptu sing-song. It really captures a lot of attention! For us, though, the real stars of the show are the Groundsmen and the grass courts themselves. It’s an understatement to say that getting those famous courts ready at SW19 takes a lot of planning and hard work!
According to the All England Lawn Tennis Club, it can take up to 15 months to get a court ready for championship standard. It starts with the seeding in April – they estimate over 9 tonnes of grass seed (Perennial Ryegrass) is used each year. It’s left to grow to 15mm and then cut three times a week during late spring to keep it at that same level. During Wimbledon fortnight it’s kept at a consistent 8mm, the optimum height for play, with daily mowing. After that, it’s back to mowing only three times a week to let the grass mature. Around September, over 6 tonnes of soil is put onto each court to level out the surface and then the height of the cut is raised to 13mm for the winter months. When March comes around it’s back to regularly cutting down to 8mm and rolling each with a 1 tonne roller to compact the surface, ready for the courts to be played on during the spring and summer months.
Now, we don’t necessarily recommend you treat your lawn like Wimbledon’s Centre Court – not only is it a highly demanding schedule(!), mowing too short and compacting the soil puts unnecessary stress on the grass in the average lawn. However, there are ways to recreate those wonderful Wimbledon stripes at home whilst having a soft and luscious lawn to enjoy throughout the summer.
Water your lawn
Firstly, always remember to water your lawn during the warmer months. Lawns evaporate on average 3mm of water a day, so you should make sure your grass gets around 25mm (1inch) of water per week to keep it in the best condition. It’s best to do this in the mornings or evenings to reduce the amount of evaporation that can occur during the warmer parts of the day. Watering is especially important if you’ve had one of ProLawnCare’s lawn treatments as it gives your grass the best opportunity to thrive.
Now for the all important stripes!
- Choose a mower with a roller on the rear
- Decide on your pattern – would you like vertical stripes leading up the length of your garden? Maybe you’d prefer horizontal stripes going across?
- Decide on your starting point and start mowing to the other end in a straight line.
- Turn around and move over so your next row will slightly overlap your first. Now start mowing in a straight line back to where you started.
- Keeping going with this method until you’ve covered your entire lawn
Roller mowers can be particularly useful at getting right to the edges of your lawn, giving you a neater finish as four wheeled mowers can drop off the edges at times. If your garden is hard to manoeuvre around at the edges, you might find it easier to mow around the perimeter first and then start your striping pattern a bit further in from the edge.
Then, when all the hard work is done, you can sit back and marvel at your efforts! A well looked after stripey lawn in summer is one of our favourite sites. Here are a couple of our favourite pictures of the lawns we look after in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, wearing their summer stripes.