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Advice on clearing wild patch of Oxeye Daisies and wild meadow grasses

The previous owner of our house had created a wild meadow in the garden. It looks great when Oxeyes are in full flower, the rest of the year it looks a bit scrubby / unexciting.. This combined with having two young children who need space to play means we're looking at clearing this space for a lawn.. What techniques would people recommend for this? I had considered the following:

1. strimming the covering with black polythene over winter.. grass seed in spring and hope regular mowing would suppress oxeyes etc

2. Strim, then hire a rotavator to turn over and seed in autumn (hoping the lawn would establish enough to suppress oxeyes etc next summer

3. hire a man with digger to clear area and replace topsoil, then seed etc (seems excessive to me?)

We don't want to buy turf 1. cost and 2. the house and garden feels quite rustic and turf would feel too neat... 

Any thoughts would be much appreciated :)



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350
    I'd just cut and mow, by next season it will be fit to play on

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,721
    Just mow it, keep mowing it and the grass will take over. You might need to spot pull any thistles that come up since those are not very nice to play on.
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,190
    Have to agree with @Dovefromabove

    Leaving a wild flower border is a great idea.

    If it were mine, and obviously it isn't, I'd leave it alone and enjoy it, but that is a purely personal point of view.
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,965
    I totally agree. I know where I'd rather play😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,876

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FireFire Posts: 18,026
    edited August 2022
    You could just mow it back now but fun to leave it until later in the year. You would need to take the wildflowers back at some point in the year and remove the cuttings else the dead stuff will give too much nutrient and it won't stay as 'wild flower meadow'.

    Ox eyes are perennials so the plants will spring back next year and they will self seed.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Playing in a meadow full of flowers and fluttery insects and grass hoppers is one of life's greatest joys.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,458
    Good advice from @Dovefromabove.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,052
    If you decide to keep the meadow, next year you could mow a curving path through it for riding trikes etc, with a clearing for a play area. Much more fun for little ones to play among flowers and wildlife.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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