Mental Health Awareness Week- Tom Banks
We spotted a great post on social media this week from Tom Banks who like alot of people who follow our social media channels enjoys getting out in his garden. Tom finds it extremely beneficial to his mental health. We asked him to write a blog for us......
Hello, I thought I’d start by telling you a little about me! My name is Tom Banks, I’m 34 and live in Winskill, Cumbria with my wife Tasha and our two fantastic children.
My everyday job is an electrical contractor working in a range of industries, from domestic to commercial. I have done this since I left school all them years ago!
What got me into lawn care? I think it all stemmed from my parents really who have been keen gardeners for years and my Dad has always had a well kept lawn. I remember helping him when I was younger cutting the grass for some pocket money! Since owning our own home the garden has been my domain, from growing the grass from seed to having our own veg patch.
I think my interest in learning more about lawn-care came when I started volunteering as a groundsman for my local football team, Kirkoswald FC. Here I was able to develop my skills and learn more about the ins and outs of looking after grass.
I use a Qualcast 35s Cylinder mower, which I believe is now the Allett Classic 14L. This is the first cylinder mower I have owned having always had rotary mowers. The finish that you can achieve with a cylinder mower is far superior to a rotary in my opinion.
I also have the scarifier quick change cartridge that fits my mower and I really can’t recommend this enough. It has helped to completely transform my lawn over the past year, from picking up leaves and debris to removing thatch and moss and also lifting lateral growth before mowing, it literally does everything!
These are all of the pieces of equipment which I use and would recommend:
- Qualcast 35s cylinder mower
- Allett scarification cassette
- Rotary mower for uneven roadside and winter cutting
- Handheld fertiliser spreader
- Pressure sprayer for liquid treatments and weed killing
- 4ft brush for dew removal
I like to try and cut the lawn every 2/3 days in the height of growing season. Also once or twice a month I run over the lawn with the scarifier cassette to keep thatch and lateral growth under control.
At the beginning of spring I use a moss killer and a selective herbicide. I would then give the lawn a heavy scarification followed by a top-dress and over-seed. I only apply fertiliser little and often when the lawns need it and finally twice a year I like to aerate the lawn, usually with a garden fork and lots of hard work!
I’m a big believer that spending time in the garden can be great for your mental health and wellbeing. For me personally that hour in the garden cutting the lawn gives me the time to switch off from the day to day stresses of the world.
It might sound strange to some but standing back and looking at what I’ve achieved with my lawn after it's cut and striped puts me in my “happy place”.
I’ve found it amazing how many people have started showing an interest in lawn care during the Covid pandemic. I often get people messaging me for help and advice on what they could do to improve their own lawns and I really enjoy helping them.
I’ve noticed over social media more and more people are posting about their lawns and gardens and what they have achieved, even celebrities are getting involved!
I’m hoping this current trend continues and that a lot more people can find enjoyment in achieving great things in their own gardens. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you found it useful!
Thanks so much to Tom for spending the time to write us this blog. If you have a story to tell please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share it with the Allett community.