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Control spread of yellow rattle?

Hi everyone
We've converted an old tennis court into a wildflower meadow. Or rather, we've made a start. The naturalised spring bulbs look lovely, but now I want to suppress the grass a little to help boost the wildflowers later in the season. So this autumn I want to put in some yellow rattle. But hubby is worried it'll spread into areas of lawn nearby where it would not be so welcome. Does anyone have any experience of this? How spready is it?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,921
    How near is the lawn? I wouldn't have thought it would be a major problem unless the lawn is right next to it.
    I expect someone else will have a more definite answer for you though @Adstid :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    yellow rattle is an annual, so the first cut of your lawn will kill off any that start growing in it.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,177
    Yes, it’s an annual.

    Although I would have thought that yellow rattle in a lawn would not be such a bad idea. Fewer excursions with the lawn mower and more time to sit and enjoy this wonderfully wet and luscious “summer”.🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • AdstidAdstid Posts: 78
    Good point! Thanks everyone, I can show this to hubby and calm his fears. 
  • That was that was quite useful for me too - I’m planning to grow a wildflower meadow on our front lawn, so looks like yellow rattle is a good way to start. What spring bulbs did you use @Adstid ?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,921
    Crocus are always a good bet in grass. They disappear quicker, so you can mow grass sooner if you should want to do that.
    Obviously, for a wildlife area, you wouldn't be mowing till  later in the year, so you could add all sorts of others - snake head fritillaries always look good in that setting. Daffs and snowdrops are reliable and don't usually mind no food, so are ideal among wildflowers.
    It really depends on the look you want though.
    Apart from the fritillaries, I'd keep those sorts of bulbs a bit separate from the wildflower bit I think. If you can get some spotted orchids, they would be excellent too. I think a few people supply them. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you @Fairygirl bulbs will be for sale soon so I shall be looking for some crocuses and fritillaries for my little wildflower meadow. I loooove wild orchids, didn’t think it was possible to have them in the garden, but will check out if I indeed can get some. 
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,293
    We sowed yellow rattle in our wildflower meadow, and it has spread nicely over the years.  We keep a mown grass path through the middle, and though the rattle has spread, you don’t notice it amongst the other greenery on the path. Its never allowed to get tall enough to flower.

    Enjoy your meadow - its one of my favourite parts of our garden for butterfly, grasshopper and beetle watching 🤓
  • Hi @chicky 😊 yes, I love my meadow even though I need to add sone more wild plants to it. This year I noticed little squeaky grasshoppers there at the first time ever - a good sign 👌
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,921
    @Big Blue Sky -  last year I was fortunate to discover a little orchid deep within a Ligularia that I'd had for several years. No idea where it came from. I managed to get it out, and replanted it beside my pond, hoping it would be ok. It flowered perfectly this year and I was delighted. I'm really hoping it'll spread :)
    Hope you find a source for them. I'm sure I saw a supplier when I was looking for something else recently.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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