When to cut the wild flowers and meadow

Hello everyone, This is my first year of growing a wild flower and meadow piece of land approx 30ft wide and 28ft in length ending up with a pond at the triangle point.  I know it is to soon to cut, but does anyone know what I do with it, when winter comes, do I need to cut it to a certain length or leave it alone. Any help is appreciated

Posts

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,254

    what flowers arein the meadow Lynda? when do they flower?

  • Lynda 5Lynda 5 Posts: 22

    I know for sure that I have ox eye daisies, various grasses, cornflower, buttercups, cowslip, cow parsley, foxgloves, but I am not good at naming the other plants, one looks similar to a sweet pea, frond leaves and climbs it has small light purple flowers going up the stem, very pretty, Another one looks like nettle leaves but are softer furry, this also produces a very small purple flower. The seeds I brought last year were called meadow mix for clay soil which also contained wild flowers. Now the weather is improving I hope that I will see what other plants growing in the ground.

  • Lynda 5Lynda 5 Posts: 22

    Hi Nutcutlet, just to add, as this is the first year, I have no idea when they will finish flowering, I presume sometime at the end of July August? when they have all seeded.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,667

    Wildflower meadows are ususally cut in July and the cuttings are then left for a few days to shed any seed before being raked up and composted or made into hay - depending on size and use.

    If you rake the cuttings up too soon you'll get no new seed for next year's display and if you leave them too long they'll feed the soil and encourage grasses to grw at the expense of the wildflowers.

    The RHS offers this advice - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile.aspx?pid=446

     

    The Vendée, France
  • Lynda 5Lynda 5 Posts: 22

    Thank you I will watch this year to see when the last flower is out, this should give me a good idea when to cut the meadow. Thank you for your help

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,667

    Don't wait for the last flower as that may be August or even later and then it'll be too late for many of the new seeds to do their stuff before winter.  Some like to germinate fresh and get ahead start before winter.  Others like to wait for frosts and then spring to tell them it's safe to germinate and grow.   This is how annual wildflower meadows have been managed for centuries so one has to assume it's what works.

    The Vendée, France
  • Lynda 5Lynda 5 Posts: 22

    OK will put a note in the diary to check in the middle of July, at present unable to garden due to giving myself a fracture of the fibula, been told to keep off my leg for two weeks, absolutely no bending of the knee, fed up already.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,254

    That's bad luck Lynda, I'd be fed up before I left A&E. 

    As the grasses develop in the meadow the  annuals like cornflowers will disappear They belong in cultivated soil but they make a nice show til the perennials have grown up, I've found you need to disturb the soil to get dog daisies to persist as well.not to dig itt was described to me as imitating being trodden by cows.

  • Lynda 5Lynda 5 Posts: 22

    Just reread you last comment nutcutlet I'm definately heavy enough to imitate cows tredding on the ground! Should be good fun.

    At last I have found a job I can do in the garden, I managed to grow some lupins from seed, a gorgous deep blue in colour, going to repot them into bigger containers, put them with all the other pots, then in approx two weeks when I am allowed to kneel, I will put them all in the garden. In the meantime, I will get my cup of tea, watch the birds and think of all you gardeners while sitting on my swing.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,254

    Sounds just right Lynda

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