Forum home Wildlife gardening

Starting a wildflower meadow

I have a quite large area of grass that's on a sort of rounded slope that hasn't been cut for 4 years so its a thatch. I'm thinking of making it into a wildflower meadow so I'm going to start cutting it this week, starting with the longest cut then gradually getting it down to as short as possible - as I understand it the next thing is to sow yellow rattle so my question is when is the best time to do that? Is it the autumn? 

Posts

  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    We sowed ours as soon as we got it, it was probably july, as it’s important to use it fresh.  We were able to harvest ours from nearby fields.  So we cut just before and then broadcast it, and then wandered around making like cattle to get it settled in.  It’s taken very well (rather too well perhaps!)


  • nonenonenonenone Posts: 49
    Thanks Helix, you certainly have a lot of yellow rattle, are you planning to add other wildflowers? 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,293
    My meadow area was thickly planted with daffodils by the former owners and these have expanded over the many years we have been here, so it is difficult to get it mown before midsummer (I still have some narcissi out now!).
    I mowed a path through the middle and grew and planted meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense) which is big enough to help obscure the dying leaves and let the grass grow tall.
    I already had buttercups, hogweed, woundwort and a variety of pretty grasses and intend to move in some Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) which is a short distance away on another grassy bank with Betony and Agrimony, though the last 2 I added myself.
    All now  happily self seed so shouldn't mind the move.
    I cut it down and rake it in the autumn so it looks tidy, till spring brings the first sight of the daffs. Then it is colourful all through summer.
    The only thing I would change,  if I could, is the daffodils. They are large trumpet and very bright yellow, King Alfred or similar, and I would prefer something a little less in your face! I added some swathes of white ones which helps a bit :)
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    The rattle looks a bit dominant in that photo I agree!  But since we introduced it we have loads of other flowers, ragged robin, birdsfoot trefoil, cranesbill, cowslips, and many others.  Last year we even had our first orchid and were hugely excited!  Everything apart from the yellow rattle has arrived by itself (we are on limestone) and the only other things I’ve tried to introduce have been eaten by voles (poeticus narcissi and fritillarys).  So we now leave it to nature to do what it wishes.
  • nonenonenonenone Posts: 49
    Helix said:
    The rattle looks a bit dominant in that photo I agree!  But since we introduced it we have loads of other flowers, ragged robin, birdsfoot trefoil, cranesbill, cowslips, and many others.  Last year we even had our first orchid and were hugely excited!  Everything apart from the yellow rattle has arrived by itself (we are on limestone) and the only other things I’ve tried to introduce have been eaten by voles (poeticus narcissi and fritillarys).  So we now leave it to nature to do what it wishes.
    I have a vole problem too, I've stopped planting bulbs because they dig up and eat them. Your plot is lovely, I hope mine turns out as well!
Sign In or Register to comment.