Innovation: Slow mow

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The end of frequent lawnmowing may be in sight. Not because the growing season will shortly be over, but because scientists in Australia have developed a synthetic hormone that slows growth while making plants lusher and healthier. In experiments, a single application slowed growth to 30 per cent of the normal rate for five weeks. Professor Lew Mander, of the Australian National University's Research School of Chemistry, says the treatment could 'reduce the frequency of mowing, watering and fertilising' of grassed areas.