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in Wildlife gardening
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
what flowers arein the meadow Lynda? when do they flower?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sounds just right Lynda