I have to admit that one of my greatest loves in a summer garden is a lawn. The refreshing green giving a cooling effect and if all is well, then simply to sit on the lawn is a joy in itself. Naturally the right type of grass for our Mediterranean climate must have been planted in the first place, by this I refer to the Bermuda/couch grass that responds to the harsh sunlight by growing stronger and greener in the heat of the summer.
Admittedly it needs a certain amount of watering but not nearly as frequently as the Ryegrass type lawn. It does feel a little corse underfoot but really responds to a good frequent cut and as just mentioned mentioned, watering and a couple of feeds during the summer with a multi purpose fertlizer. A handful of fertilizer watered in will have the amazing result of greener grass in just a matter of a few days.
This type of grass grows on long runners that build up over each other giving the grass a bouncy feeling underfoot as it roots itself between the layers. It does tend to extend these long runners onto flower beds or around tree trunks and grow very long blades of grass if not well cut back. The lawn itself is easy enough to cut with a lawn mower producing masses of grass cuttings for the compost heap but as always there is always that big BUT, the mower cant always get close enough to the tree trunk etc so I find these long runners easier to eliminate by pulling them up and cutting the off.
There are those who like the noisy strimmer machine that just skims over the top snipping back the blades of grass but never really gets to the roots and thicker runners so it really is a hands and knees job pulling each runner up and snipping it off. It is surprising just how long these runners can be and with one long pull quite a good sized length of border to the lawn is cleaned up in one sharp pull. No, its not back breaking work and anyway all those cuttings will need clearing up after the strimmer whilst the ‘sharp pull’ and everything comes away in one go and what a difference a neat edge to the lawn makes, I compare it with a propper haircut and straggly ends growing over the ears!!
Call me old fashioned if you like but I do admit to following lots that I learnt from my own father all those years ago and even more from my neighbouring Mallorcan shepherd friend who tended his sheep grazing on the pasture land all around our house and garden when the area was first urbanised and before all the building plots were still not sold.
Believe it or not, now in August we are really into the time for sowing vegetable seeds, just about everything you can find in a packet on the Co-Op or garden centre shelves. Naturally all of these newly planted seeds will need careful watering and special attention when they do start to germinated and show their little green tips that slugs and snails are drasticly eradicated otherwise they will east everything off as it pops its little green shoots above the ground.
Excessive growth will need to be given a summer prune on many of the climbing shrubs just to keep them in hand, here I refer once again to Honeysuckle, Passion flowers, Morning Glory, Bignonia and the likes. Some of these are fun to use as cuttings to plant out to make new shrubs, they wont all take root but what does it matter if just a few do,there you have something for nothing.
There will be those that run along at ground level, most of those just mentioned for example, with many of them putting down roots on their own so without even tryingn there you can plant these little rooted cuttings in pots until you decide what to do with them.
Besides this little chore, dead-heading some of the summer flowering shrubs does keep them looking tidy and in many cases like Roses, encourages new growth and yet another flowering season, in fact some shrubs can be kept flowering well into the late autumn and winter months. This is where we can consider the Mallorcan climate perfect for all year round gardening.