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In the latest GW they said a wild life meadow should only be mowed once a year...

So here is my question: when exactly, what month is good for mowing a wild life lawn?
 
I stopped mowing a patch of my front lawn two or three seasons ago and it’s doing great, some wild flowers already there, all visited by bees and other pollinators. 
What I like most, in the grass there are more and more tiny grass hoppers. They are lovely and I like their cheerful jumping and chirping. 

 I was wondering what would happen if I tried to mow that patch - would lawnmower suck in and kill them? Even when I walk on that patch of grass I try to step very carefully not to step on one of them. 

Is there a safe time for mowing a wild life meadow? ☺️ 
Surrey

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,593
    It very much depends on the kind of wildflower meadow - annual or perennial deliberately sown or a lawn that's been left to grow wild.    Mowing will suck in newly resident insects but will also be quite difficult to do if the grass and wildflowers are long.   Strimming or scything would be less damaging to insects and bring he height down to something that can be mown.

    Have a read of this info from the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=436
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Big Blue SkyBig Blue Sky Posts: 663
    Thank you @Obelixx Strimming sounds like a good solution - it should give the little grasshoppers a chance to skip away 😊
    Surrey
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,526
    I cut mine once after the spring flowers have disappeared and then again after the clover has run to seed. I use lawn shears to cut it and only do sections at a time so creatures have a chance to disperse. Cutting after spring knocks the grass back ready for the summer flowers but I do leave some longer patches around the edges though.
    The way I understand it is that you need to work out what is the best season for the flowers in your lawn and then cut it to suit their requirements. Cutting once a year gives the grass too much time to dominate. If you cut after the flowers have set seed you can mow it regularly until the next season. Hay meadows are always cut and then grazed over the winter and it works for them.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 962
    We mow our wild flower plot this month after the flowers have seeded, orchids being the last, there is still a patch of them left to mow later, we then mow to the winter, stop before flowers appear in the spring
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    edited July 2020
    Safest for wildlife would be a scythe, but don't forget that it's essential to wear a long black hooded cloak when using one! :D
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,077
    "a wild life meadow should only be mowed once a year"

    I don't think that's what they are saying. Some people do it like that. You have to do it in a way that works for your situation, a way that you can manage and will get the results you are looking for.
  • Big Blue SkyBig Blue Sky Posts: 663
    edited July 2020
    Fire said:
    "a wild life meadow should only be mowed once a year"

    I don't think that's what they are saying. Some people do it like that. You have to do it in a way that works for your situation, a way that you can manage and will get the results you are looking for.
    Thanks Fire, I basically just don’t want to kill any of the grasshoppers or their babies or eggs. So I am trying to determine if there is a time of the year when they are safe (dormant or similar) when the lawnmower would be ok to use. But the suggestion with a strimmer sounds good as this should give them a chance to escape. Or so I hope 🤞😊
    Surrey
  • Hi,
     If it's any help, i've lifted the turf in 2ft arcs around my existing meadow borders and sown pure wildflower seed (no grass seeds). Any grass that does appear, I just pinch out with my fingers, and it soon disappears.
    The result is, that in front of the meadowy-grassy areas, are pure, colourful wildflower arcs which don't end-up filling-up with just grasses as can happen with grass+wildflower mixes.
    Best wishes
    Russell
  • Back on point, I only mow between November and March when all the insects are safely asleep underground, etc. The rest of the year, I nearly always just mow and shear the edges of the lawn, to keep it looking tidy so my wife doesn't tell me to scalp the lot!
  • Big Blue SkyBig Blue Sky Posts: 663
    Thank you @russtilling definitely helpful. I was thinking of physically pulling the grass out but gave up as it hard work and I’ quite lazy 😄 I think I will sow yellow rattle and get them to do the job 😎
    Surrey
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