I have a 12 x 12 foot part of my back lawn that I am considering using for the bees and butterflies
? Has anyone had any experiences of converting
just stop cutting and if you do the weed and feed thing,don't
Gardening for wildlife is much about what you don't.do, Don't mow, let flowers come, don't clear everything up, leave somewhere for insects to live.
Above all, get rid of the chemicals.
I tried the "just let it grow" method and also planted plugs of native wild flowers. Trouble was that the grass totally out grew everything else, even although I planted yellow rattle plugs and seed in the autumn. It depends what you want; if you are happy with daisies and clover then let it grow and see what happens!
If you want more, then you really have to get rid of the grass first. Wild flower meadows do best if the soil is poor. We lifted turf and the top 5 inches of soil, put down horticultural sand, then wild flower turf. On another area we did the same but sprinkled a variety of seed instead because the turf is costly. We will cut it down once the seeds have dispersed, around mid September, rake it all away (I leave some in heaps under the hedge) and look forward to next Spring. Both areas have been a magnet for polinators and are lovely to look at too. Hedgehogs also use the area to travel to the next garden and no doubt find food there too.
As nutcutlet says, use absolutely no chemicals.
I mowed mygrass short(it was already feeling a bit sorry for itself) and planted birds foot trefoil and clover plugs, kept the grass short while they established, and it looks great now. Just need a strimmer
Which month is best to start this strip
Depends a bit on your weather but next 2 months is usually considered the right time. I agree with Clathymacd, it is actually quite a lot of work. We tried a patch on our Allotment site but it didn't really work as the soil was too rich & the "thugs" took over even though we stripped off the top & sowed a wildflower & special grass mix.
The area is a lawn thats been there for years so would that be too rich ??
If the grass is growing well, it's probably too rich.
I converted my front grass, which has never been fed by me in 25+ years.
The first year I cleared small patches and sowed wildflower seeds. None of them came up. I let the grass grow and just mowed a path through. The marguerites, selfheal and other sturdy wild plants as well as a variety of grasses looked very nice. I bought a few perennial wildflowers and planted a patch of Greater Knapweed, another patch of Night Scented Catchfly and another of Sneezewort. Also individual plugs of yellow rattle here and there.
This year I added annuals again but more carefully! Along one side there was a shady patch which had had bits and pieces dumped on it. Took away the rubbish and had bare soil with no grass growing. The annual seeds I put there gave a lovely show this year. Cornflower, corn cockle, corn marigold and poppies. I had to weed around them when they were coming up otherwise the more vigorous established wildflowers would have taken over.
I got some seeds and have dug up 7 foot by 3 foot strip added top soil and sowed. Hopefully the flowers will appear in the Spring .
20 g cost £39.00 and i have 14 grams left for next year if they take.
Flowers already showing so I called the provider and they said that it will be OK for April
50gr of mixed seeds should cost about 10 to 12 pounds, maybe less form some places, sow 3grms for the area youve got there. Only sow at 1.5 grms per metre.