A no-mow lawn should produce pretty little plants such as daisies, speedwell, self-heal, buttercups and clovers. You'll be aiming to cut the grass down hard to a few centimetres in height. After you’ve cut the grass in late summer, it’s extremely important to remove all the cuttings. You may need a scythe or a strimmer for the first cut, but after that a standard mower will be fine. Can't wait until next year! What comes up in your no-mow mini-meadow depends very much on what you start with. Once the grass and flowers have been allowed to grow, the key to maintaining your mini-meadow is through your diary of mowing. Shift your perspective slightly and, like a botanical version of the ugly duckling story, many of these so-called weeds will grow into lovely wildflowers. Never scalp wild flowers – the lowest you should allow the sward to … But these days, thriving wildflower meadows are an increasingly rare sight – over 97% of them have been destroyed since the 1930s, disappearing under the plough or being converted to silage fields. A friend In Dorset mows part of their lawn up to mid-April, which encourages pyramidal orchids to grow. What wildflowers can you grow in your garden? Want something for the border? We are developing a mobile app that will make it easy to create wildflower habitats and collect data on pollinator abundance and diversity. Once the grass and flowers have been allowed to grow, the key to maintaining your mini-meadow is through your diary of mowing. This basic regime of cutting the grass from late summer to the end of the year mimics the traditional pattern of hay-cutting followed by grazing, to which many meadow flowers are adapted. If it's a small enough patch you might even get by with a pair of garden shears. I love looking at wildflowers on my walks and I enjoy photographing them. Jackie Isard: My wild patch. A friend In Dorset mows part of their lawn up to mid-April, which encourages pyramidal orchids to grow. Try cutting different areas at different times and see how your wildflowers respond. You will lose some flowers as you mow, but you will also encourage new flowers – think of it as pruning to encourage healthy growth. Make sure the blades are sharp. Having said that, it's also good to leave some strips or edges uncut as refuges for insects. In wildflower meadows on acid soil in Wales and Scotland you'll find harebell, tormentil and devil's-bit scabious, among others. These plants provide a vital food source for pollinators and can make a beautiful feature too. Moisten the soil every day until the seeds germinate. For those of you who prefer a cleaner look, this gives you most of the benefits of mowing the wildflowers down and also leaving some varieties for the birds to snack on. The rich, lustrous glow of buttercup petals and the cheery, vibrant appearance of the contrasting yellow centres and white rays of daisies add a great deal of pleasure to a spring or summer walk. This is the most important principle in establishing a wildflower meadow. These beauties need light to stimulate germination. Here are two things to keep in mind if you are considering planting a meadow: Left alone, a modest expectation from your turf would be pretty little plants such as daisies, speedwell, self-heal, buttercups and clovers. It’s best to mow your mini-meadow a few times more until around Christmas, removing the clippings each time. Having said that, it’s also good to leave some strips or edges uncut as refuges for insects. But oxeye daisies, cowslips and even orchids might appear too. But don't let technical talk of soil types put you off. This basic regime of cutting the grass from late summer to the end of the year mimics the traditional pattern of hay-cutting followed by grazing, to which many meadow flowers are adapted. While a wildflower lawn may never be a “true” meadow, there is a time and place for it – and that time is now. If you get more invasive plants like nettle or dock, it’s best to pull these up by hand. Leave a patch of lawn to its own devices during spring and summer, and the chances are that at least some wildflowers will appear in your new mini-meadow. Or, sow tiny pinches of seed directly into small modules of seed compost and plant as ‘plugs’. It’s not essential that you mow your wildflower area in autumn and winter but it does help keep soil fertility down and it does keep things looking neat. At this point, the wildflowers require less maintenance. Surpass 30 species and your new lawn is just about as diverse as it can get. On the latter, maybe you’ll get cowslips, that rarity clustered bellflower or the beautiful blue pincushions of field scabious in late summer. You might need a scythe or a strimmer for the first cut, but after that a standard mower will be fine. Use a lawn mower with the grass box on. Don’t drown the seeds. Sow this in August and keep the grass mown until March Save to … You couldn’t have fruits or veggies without pollination, so planting wildflowers in the garden, even amongst your edibles, is a great way to ensure a good harvest. You never quite know what to expect from your no-mow patch, which is a large part of the pleasure for me. My wife and I are keen on helping wildlife and enjoy encouraging wildlife into our garden. Get free wildflower gardening tips by email. Understated groundcover plants are low-maintenance and a great choice for stabilizing sloped or uneven areas. What comes up in your no-mow patch depends very much on what you start with. A new meadow can be grown from seed on carefully prepared soil, a lawn can be released from weekly mowing and meadow wildflowers added, or old fields or roadsides can be diversified by reducing and timing mowing to support native plant flowering and reproduction. If you want to encourage wildflowers in your garden, leave your lawn to its own devices, argues Trevor Dines, botanist at conservation charity Plantlife, Last modified on Wed 29 Mar 2017 13.53 EDT. Shift your perspective slightly and, like a botanical version of the ugly duckling story, many of these so-called weeds will grow into lovely wildflowers. If you have a small lawn, try a 1m-square micro-meadow. In the section that you did mow, remember to leave the cut foliage on the ground until spring. If you want to attract bees, increase insect populations and decrease your time spent tending to the grass, then you can safely know that a wildflower lawn is worth the time and effort you are just about to take. And attract more wildlife and pollinators to your garden? Pick a site with moderately fertile earth, an excellent sward structure, and very limited amounts of perennial weeds or vigorous grasses. created and restored 15,800 acres of wildflower meadows. Barely cover seeds when sown in rows. The Lawn to Wildflowers project helps people create habitats for these helpful insects by turning turf grass lawns into native wildflower plots. Gardening on acid soil? Don’t be tempted to add manure or fertiliser as this will encourage excessive vigour in the grasses, which then swamp the wildflowers. Benefits of Wildflower Lawns Protection of Biodiversity. At Plantlife, we’ve laid down the no-mow challenge to our supporters, asking them to share pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #SayNoMow. At the other extreme, why not leave most of the lawn unmown with just a few paths meandering through? As opposed to a few species in a lawn, you can grow many in a wildflower meadow. A densely-planted garden is more ecological than a lawn as it uses less water and no synthetic chemicals, and of course no mowing is required. I've also bought seeds to sow this autumn. Select a garden site that receives the amount of sunlight necessary for the wildflower varieties. Gardening on acid soil? The other reason is that the grass clippings could smother germinating wildflower seeds that are trying to get a foothold during late summer and autumn. If you don’t do this, any rotting debris will fertilise the ground, encouraging tough grasses to take over at the expense of the wildflowers you're trying to encourage. Avoid putting cuttings in the compost unless you want wildflowers appearing in every part of the garden. If you are on heavy clay, however, it is better to wait until spring. At Plantlife we’ve created and restored 15,800 acres of wildflower meadows, but on a different scale, your own #SayNoMow patch has a vital part to play. Just as in wildflower meadows across Britain, each with their own regional character and identity, your soil type will determine which flowers will grow. Growing wildflowers in shady spaces doesn’t have to be difficult – all you need is the right seed! Left alone, a modest expectation from your turf would be pretty little plants such as daisies, speedwell, self-heal, buttercups and clovers (check out our interactive wildflower selector). Encouraging a slice of the wild in your garden can be a satisfying way of attracting a wide diversity of birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. via Facebook, Pyramidal orchids in a no-mow patch © Dominic Murphy, Oxeye daisies in a no-mow patch © Trevor Dines. Chances are you’ll get meadow buttercup, oxeye daisy and bird’s-foot trefoil on neutral or limey soils. This will lower fertility and give perennial wildflowers a chance to push through the grass. ‘Shift your perspective slightly and, like a botanical version of the ugly duckling story, many so-called weeds will grow into lovely wildflowers.’. Buy from this exclusive range of genuine wildflower seeds and some of the profits go to wildflower conservation. Other areas they leave totally neglected after a winter cut in December and are rewarded with carpets of primroses in March and April, followed by cowslips in May. Chances are you'll get meadow buttercup, oxeye daisy and bird's-foot trefoil on neutral or limey soils. Try to resist cutting until at least the middle of July – or even into early September if you can. The flowers are a beautiful sight and a lovely link to my childhood. Or maybe the pond? Would you like to do less mowing? We cultivated this Shaded Area wildflower mix, so that it contains only the wildflowers that are the very best at growing in little light and are similar to what you would find growing naturally beneath trees or in a woodland setting. Not only will it attract wildlife into your garden, but it will look lovely too – a powerful reminder that we should value what’s left and support all efforts to restore wildflower meadows. Wildflower seeds need moisture to get started. If it’s a small enough patch you might even get by with a pair of garden shears. But oxeye daisies, cowslips and even orchids might appear too. This will encourage more diversity but stop the grasses dominating. So there is no reason why you shouldn’t expect these at home, too. If, like me, your lawn is old, rather weedy, and probably hasn’t encountered weedkillers or fertilisers for years, a bit more conscious neglect could transform it into a thriving mini-meadow. If you don’t do this, any rotting debris will fertilise the ground, encouraging tough grasses to take over at the expense of the wildflowers you’re trying to encourage. Gardens, of course, cannot substitute ancient meadows in the wild. Not only will it attract wildlife into your garden, but it will look lovely too – a powerful reminder that we should value what’s left and support all efforts to restore wildflower meadows. Definitely finish before the end of August. Just as in wildflower meadows across Britain, each with their own regional character and identity, your soil type will determine which flowers will grow. As for the size and shape of your no-mow patch, it’s entirely up to you. This is because the average lawn is usually home to what many would describe as ‘weeds’. Next to a pond, it is one of the best things you can add to a garden. Take a look at our instructions for sowing wildflower seeds in trays. If you get more invasive plants like nettle or dock, it’s best to pull these up by hand. Our Alternative Lawn Wildflower Seed Mix features a mix of 13 clover, grasses, and low-growing wildflowers to create a flowering lawn with sprays of subtle color. If you follow these simple instructions your wild flower lawn should survive indefinitely and bring you much pleasure and fascination year after year. Cut the grass free lawn on a high setting, you don’t want to scalp the plants, you just need to make sure the lower growing varieties get enough light. O ne of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to forget the lawnmower and just let your grass grow. It's best to mow your mini-meadow a few times more until around Christmas, removing the clippings each time. Plus enjoy months of flowers on your lawn? Attractive to beneficial insects.Wildflowers help to encourage bees and other important pollinators to the area. G rowing a wildflower meadow area in your garden can be a satisfying way of attracting wildlife, is beautiful to look at and you don't necessarily need loads of space. When you see sprouts starting to come up from the soil, then the seeds have successfully germinated. Green lawns can be beautiful, but a new movement is afoot to dedicate yard space to a wildflower garden to bring a explosion of color to the eye. Hi growies, Can one of you help me revive an herbicide ridden section of the lawn into a wildflower field/pollinator garden? Gardens, of course, cannot substitute ancient meadows in the wild. via Facebook, Ann Chapman: Best thing I ever did. Use our free tool to select wildflowers that are right for you, then download your list. You’ll soon see species such as rough hawkbit, yarrow and selfheal coming through, dependi… I have planted bubs for spring and now waiting for the wild flowers to come into bloom. via Facebook, Jeremy Bartlett: Our small wildflower meadow is now three years old and is full of life. Say ‘no to the mow’ and create a wildflower meadow! The best things to do to encourage wildflowers into your patch is to stop mowing. Try to resist cutting until at least the middle of July – or even into early September if you can. At Plantlife we’ve created and restored 15,800 acres of wildflower meadows, but on a different scale, your own #SayNoMow patch has a vital part to play. If, like me, your lawn is old, rather weedy, and probably hasn’t encountered weedkillers or fertilisers for years, a bit more conscious neglect could transform it into a thriving mini-meadow. After you've cut the grass in late summer, it's extremely important to remove all the cuttings. We'd generally say cut an established wildflower meadow in sections from the end of July, leaving several days between each to encourage diversity. No need to cover the seed. They are fully hardy to survive the winter and dry summers. One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to forget the lawnmower and just let your grass grow. To grow annual wild flowers in your lawn, use a spade to lift an area of turf in spring time. It all depends on your location, soil type, amount of sun and shade, but any number of plants past 20, and you are onto something good. As for the size and shape of your no-mow patch, it’s entirely up to you. Take a break from mowing your lawn (or a small area of it) to encourage the growth of nectar-rich plants, such as clover. So if you’re looking for inspiration, why not start here? Choose wildflower varieties that require similar sunlight, water and nutrient levels. The exact timing of the first cut depends on the year and the weather, but a later cut will help species like knapweed and orchids to spread, while earlier cuts can help control competitive species, such as common hogweed. What comes up in your no-mow mini-meadow depends very much on what you start with. Your low flowering lawn wild flowers are all perennial which means they will survive year after year without the need for re-seeding. Scatter wildflower seeds thinly over bare patches of watered soil or in rows in a seedbed to transplant later as small clumps. On the latter, maybe you'll get cowslips, that rarity clustered bellflower or the beautiful blue pin-cushions of field scabious in late summer. 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