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When to cut long grass

I have a large lawn, and am keeping some sections long to benefit wildlife. I’m not sowing seed and trying to turn in to a ‘wildflower’ meadow .... just keeping it long and letting whatever wants to grow. 

My question is, what is the cutting timetable for this sort of thing? Should it never be cut? Cut short on autumn? Cut short in spring?


  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,834
    If there are species of plant in there you want to encourage then don't cut until their seeds have ripened. If there's a species you want to gradually discourage then cut before it flowers. Otherwise you have a choice to leave it until early spring which gives winter wildlife a chance to use it for food and shelter or cut in autumn (after the bugs have all given up for the year) to allow regrowth over the winter and birds can forage for worms and grubs more easily in short grass. Cutting in spring can be harder as the grass will be flattened by winter weather and you'll end up with more thatch. Get to know your sward and work it out based on your plants and wildlife. There's no real wrong way to do it at that scale.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,364
    We've cut ours, but not very short, it will get a shorter cut in spring then left until autumn.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 968
    Leave our wild area until the end of July, over the years we have wild orchids, fritilleries, primroses, blue bells under the trees, plus daisies ox eye and little ones lovely from spring through early summer, first cut not too short then a few weeks later reduce the height of the mower.
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