Alan Titchmarsh challenges Monty Don’s controversial lawn tip – which team are you on?

The stripes vs meadow lawn debate dividing gardens across the country
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  • A lawn controversy spearheaded by Monty Don on one side and Alan Titchmarsh on the other is dividing gardeners across the UK over whether you should cut your lawn in stripes or leave it to grow.

    Related: 15 lawn ideas – the best grass layouts and inspiration for putting down turf in your garden

    In an interview with the Radio Times BBC Gardener’s World presenter, Monty Don’s controversial lawn tip shocked the nation. In the interview, the presenter revealed that while he enjoys walking on a freshly cut lawn, keeping it neat and striped is unnecessary.

    Monty Don’s controversial lawn tip

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    Image credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment / PA

    ‘Letting grass grow, which is, after all, a pretty passive thing to do, is probably the single most effective thing you can do in any garden of any size to encourage particularly insect life, but also small mammals, invertebrates, reptiles,’ Monty Don explains.

    Monty Don isn’t alone in urging gardeners to ditch regularly cutting the grass, Springwatch presenter Chris Packman has previously encouraged gardeners to embrace a wild lawn. However, many gardeners including Alan Titchmarsh are reluctant to give up their lawnmowers and stripes.

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    Image credit: Love Your Garden / ITV

    In a recent interview on Good Morning Britain with Susanna Reid and Ben Shepherd, the Love Your Gardener presenter directly opposed Monty’s lawn tip. Instead, he revealed that he finds a stripey lawn is ‘excellent’ for his mental health.

    ‘Gardens do two things… One, most importantly, they’re brilliant for wild fly. Secondly, they’re also good for our well-being. I find that a striped lawn does me a power of good,’ he explains. ‘It’s excellent for my mental health.’

    He explained that it isn’t simply a case of choosing between the two types of lawn. You can make the most of both of them if you have space.

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    Image credit: Future plc

    ‘Our gardens are full of exotic plants from foreign countries which are still good for British Bees. I have a flower meadow, but I also have a striped lawn,’ he explains. ‘So I share it with the wildlife and I enjoy it myself as well and that’s my take on it.’

    Ben revealed in the segment that he is also a fan of a perfectly striped lawn. ‘My aspiration is to have perfect stripes – and I have a very small bit of lawn because Annie does all the gardening and we have a lot of flowers,’ he says.

    ‘But those lines when they’re straight…There’s nothing more comforting than that is there?’

    ‘Wildlife and humans, we co-exist. It’s called gardening!’ replied Alan.

    Related: How do you get stripes in your lawn? Lawn expert Andy Wain explains how to get perfect lawn stripes

    The great lawn debate has sparked a legion of reactions. Which team are you on stripes or lawns?

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