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Yellow Rattle seeds

I've been planting wildflower plugs (successfully) and seeds (unsuccessfully) over the last few years, in our medium-sized garden.  Established lawn grass is in constant need of trimming back, and I plan to sow Yellow Rattle seeds more in hope than expectation and next year, plugs.  I occurred to me though, that it would be parasitic to my existing wildflowers as well as the grass.  Any experience would be welcome.  Thanks in advance.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,898
    If you have bought the yellow rattle seeds from a reputable company, follow their sowing instructions. If you collected seed yourself, they should really have been sown as soon as possible after picking.

    We have yellow rattle in our “meadow”. The grass had been a ragged lawn. It then turned into a waist high matted mess. One year on after the yellow rattle arrived it was thigh high. The next year calf high. Now it’s a bit less than that.

    No effect on the wild flowers at all. Well, unless you count the fact that they no longer have any competition. So now instead of tall unruly grass we have drifts of out of control unbelliferae with tap roots that go down to hell.

    I don’t know which was worse.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,024
    As far as I'm aware, yellow rattle only parasitises some grass species - not couch, unfortunately, which I have a big patch of, in my meadow.  It doesn't seem to affect the wild flowers in the meadow.  The Internet suggests it prefers fine grasses to coarse ones, so you should find it useful in your lawn, @ChrisWM.  You'll need to create some bare patches to sow the seed though.  I cut the overgrown "lawn" very short indeed last summer, dug out some clumps of tough grass and raked the area hard.  It looked awful.  I sowed a mixture of wild flowers including some seed I'd collected from local verges etc, with yellow rattle, in September, raked it over roughly & left it.  The whole area greened up very quickly, and lots of yellow rattle germinated this spring, flowered & set seed.  (Bumble bees love it, which is a bonus.)  I collected some of the seed to sow in areas where it hadn't been so successful, and repeated the cutting very short/raking/sowing at the beginning of October.  Hopefully the yellow rattle will be able to look after itself now... and eventually we won't have so much tall unruly grass... got lots of wild carrot though, speaking of out of control umbelliferae...
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
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