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Adding colour to grassy bank



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I think it would look worse when cut as Mike says, but in the long run much better. Lots of grasses are tussocky if left, cocksfoot for one,but a good strim sorts it out.

    It just looks like neglected grass now. What I wouldn't do is dig, except  holes for planting. It's all holding now but if you loosen the soil it will be away down the drive in the first heavy rain.

    I'd cut it, wait for it to grow, kill patches with glyphosate where I wanted to plant, then just make planting holes. If you're using native plants suitable for your soil they'll be able to cope with that.

    Then give it all another cut when seeding is over in the late summer. 


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    As your bank looks as though it is in a rural situation, try to avoid plants that are more at home in a cultivated garden.  Look closely at hedge banks as you drive about and try to replicate those.  Subtle is best!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I agree, large, bright-coloured double flowers. No 

  • Hi there novice3,

    I agree with nutcutlet on the yellow rattle for your area of grass – I might even suggest you see this as a 2yr project where you only sow/plant plugs of yellow rattle in year 1.

    I’m trying yellow rattle on a much smaller scale in a semi cleared, area. My grass mound was sown with wildflowers in mind too but the young grass at just 2yrs still choked space for the flowers to grow. My sowing was last November so I've yet to see this plant growing.

    I found this info for you:

    “Can Yellow Rattle be used to reduce grass growth? 

    Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) is a hemi­parasite which photosynthesizes for itself but also parasitizes the roots of some plants, especially grasses. Because it removes nutrients from the grasses, they produce less growth and the balance of competition is changed in favour of the wildflower species in a mixture.  Yellow Rattle can also build up in patches and then die out, especially if it the host grasses die out.  The bare patches are then open for colonization by wildflowers.”

    Source: (more on wildflower meadows there too)

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    It works more efficiently than I thought it would. I was amazed.

    I suppose as it runs out of grass to be parasitic on the YR dies and the grass comes back. 

    I think maybe it's only semi-parasitic though, I've had it growing in the gravelled nursery area.

  • You could add ajugas, geraniums, thrift, black grass, ipheion, sedum. My first thought was cornus but they can get large very quickly, though Midwinter Fire or Midwinter Beauty can stay fairly compact.

  • Wow, so, so much to think about.  Thank you all very much for your advice, I'll let you know how I get on.

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