Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Lawn

Give Away Your Mower: There’s Now A Self-Mowing Lawn!

20180401A blog.junkmail.co.za .jpgResearchers at the Aprilscherz Institute of Horticultural Technology of Wunschdenken, Germany, have announced the development of a self-mowing lawn grass that will be introduced next year.

The blades of this new cultivar of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), ‘Unsinn 382’, develop an abscission layer near the leaf tip when it reaches a height of 8 to 10 cm (3 ¼ to 4 inches) in height, causing the tip to drop off neatly. This stimulates the growth of new leaves from the base that likewise “drop their top” when they reach the same height, resulting in a uniform, no-mow lawn. Any flower stalks likewise drop off, in this case, before they’re even visible.

The height of the lawn varies slightly according to conditions, around 8 cm in full sun and drier soil and up to 10 cm in partial shade and moist conditions, but the effect will be uniform throughout the lawn if conditions are equal. The clipped leaf tips help feed the grass plants, which will therefore require a bit less fertilizer than a normal lawn.

20180401B www.emmenegger-gartenbau.ch.jpg
‘Unsinn 382’ creates a perfect lawn without any need to mow! Source: www.emmenegger-gartenbau.ch

‘Unsinn 382’ is fast-growing, resistant to many common lawn diseases, reasonably heat- and drought- resistant, quick to fill in and hardy from USDA zones 3 to 7, possibly 8. It can be grown from seed, but turfgrass producers will also be offering ready-to-plant sod.

“I’ve never seen anything like it!” commented Kurt Rasenbauer, a turfgrass grower from Kuhdung, Germany who has trialed the new lawn grass for the last three years. “Given only moderate fertilization, it makes a perfectly even lawn with no mowing whatsoever and very few weeds. It’s going to change the world of turfgrass production! We’ll be switching our entire production to this new line once we get the go-ahead.”

‘Unsinn 382’ will be offered commercially as lawn seed in both European and North American markets under the trade name Short and Neat® as of April 1st, 2019.

For further information, contact the Aprilscherz Institute of Horticultural Technology at www.aprilfoolslawn.com.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

1 comment on “Give Away Your Mower: There’s Now A Self-Mowing Lawn!

  1. I was hooked until the final line!

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