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. Then leave it alone and enjoy the flowers through spring and the following summer. But oxeye daisies, cowslips and even orchids might appear too. created and restored 15,800 acres of wildflower meadows. 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. Aim to cut the grass down hard to a few centimetres in height. Once the grass and flowers have been allowed to grow, the key to maintaining your mini-meadow is through your diary of mowing. Once the grass and flowers have been allowed to grow, the key to maintaining your mini-meadow is through your diary of mowing. Barely cover seeds when sown in rows. You'll be aiming to cut the grass down hard to a few centimetres in height. If it's a small enough patch you might even get by with a pair of garden shears. 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. After you’ve cut the grass in late summer, it’s extremely important to remove all the cuttings. Sow in autumn, giving the seed time to settle in over winter. Buy from this exclusive range of genuine wildflower seeds and some of the profits go to wildflower conservation. Having said that, it’s also good to leave some strips or edges uncut as refuges for insects. Attractive to beneficial insects.Wildflowers help to encourage bees and other important pollinators to the area. Or that awkward patch of shade? Say ‘no to the mow’ and create a wildflower meadow! 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. You never quite know what to expect from your no-mow patch, which is a large part of the pleasure for me. On the latter, maybe you’ll get cowslips, that rarity clustered bellflower or the beautiful blue pincushions of field scabious in late summer. One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to forget the lawnmower and just let your grass grow. You may need a scythe or a strimmer for the first cut, but after that a standard mower will be fine. 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. Gardening on acid soil? I love looking at wildflowers on my walks and I enjoy photographing them. 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. Use our free tool to select wildflowers that are right for you, then download your list. 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). 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. 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. At Plantlife, the wildflower charity that's behind the Wildflower Garden, we've laid down the no-mow challenge to our supporters, asking them to share pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #SayNoMow. What comes up in your no-mow patch depends very much on what you start with. Moisten the soil every day until the seeds germinate. Want something for the border? A weedy area converted to wildflowers will have a large reservoir of weed seeds in the soil, ready to germinate when conditions are favorable. Make sure the blades are sharp. As for the size and shape of your no-mow patch, it’s entirely up to you. Can't wait until next year! If you follow these simple instructions your wild flower lawn should survive indefinitely and bring you much pleasure and fascination year after year. Try cutting different areas at different times and see how your wildflowers respond. So if you're looking for inspiration, why not start here? In wildflower meadows on acid soil in Wales and Scotland you'll find harebell, tormentil and devil's-bit scabious, among others. If you get more invasive plants like nettle or dock, it’s best to pull these up by hand. What comes up in your no-mow mini-meadow depends very much on what you start with. It’s best to mow your mini-meadow a few times more until around Christmas, removing the clippings each time. 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. 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. So there is no reason why you shouldn’t expect these at home, too. To grow annual wild flowers in your lawn, use a spade to lift an area of turf in spring time. One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to leave a patch of lawn to its own devices during spring and summer. Left alone, a modest expectation from your turf would be pretty little plants such as daisies, speedwell, self-heal, buttercups and clovers. 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. via Facebook, Pyramidal orchids in a no-mow patch © Dominic Murphy, Oxeye daisies in a no-mow patch © Trevor Dines. 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. You might need a scythe or a strimmer for the first cut, but after that a standard mower will be fine. The chances are that at least some wildflowers will appear if you leave the lawnmower alone. These plants provide a vital food source for pollinators and can make a beautiful feature too. This is the most important principle in establishing a wildflower meadow. On the latter, maybe you'll get cowslips, that rarity clustered bellflower or the beautiful blue pin-cushions of field scabious in late summer. And attract more wildlife and pollinators to your garden? You’ll soon see species such as rough hawkbit, yarrow and selfheal coming through, dependi… Only apply enough water to keep the soil moist. 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. No need to cover the seed. 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. As for the size and shape of your no-mow patch, it’s entirely up to you. Jackie Isard: My wild patch. But don't let technical talk of soil types put you off. Try to resist cutting until at least the middle of July – or even into early September if you can. But don’t let technical talk of soil types put you off. Choose wildflower varieties that require similar sunlight, water and nutrient levels. If you want to plant wildflowers on your lawn, experts suggest that you plant the seed on top of your existing grass. This gives the wildflowers a chance to complete their cycle of growing, flowering and setting seed. Adopt a two-cut approach to your lawn, mowing once in autumn and then again in spring, removing all of the cut grass. When you see sprouts starting to come up from the soil, then the seeds have successfully germinated. My neighbours probably think I am mad but I don't care. Your low flowering lawn wild flowers are all perennial which means they will survive year after year without the need for re-seeding. 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. Plus enjoy months of flowers on your lawn? Surpass 30 species and your new lawn is just about as diverse as it can get. Just as in wildflower meadows across Britain, each with their own regional character and identity, your soil type will determine which flowers will grow. At the other extreme, why not leave most of the lawn unmown with just a few paths meandering through? 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. After you've cut the grass in late summer, it's extremely important to remove all the cuttings. 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. If you are on heavy clay, however, it is better to wait until spring. In the section that you did mow, remember to leave the cut foliage on the ground until spring. Hi growies, Can one of you help me revive an herbicide ridden section of the lawn into a wildflower field/pollinator garden? Here are two things to keep in mind if you are considering planting a meadow: The Lawn to Wildflowers project helps people create habitats for these helpful insects by turning turf grass lawns into native wildflower plots. Understated groundcover plants are low-maintenance and a great choice for stabilizing sloped or uneven areas. via Facebook, Ann Chapman: Best thing I ever did. There are few things in this world, horticultural or otherwise, that can compare with the simple beauty of a wildflower garden. Next to a pond, it is one of the best things you can add to a garden. Pick a site with moderately fertile earth, an excellent sward structure, and very limited amounts of perennial weeds or vigorous grasses. As opposed to a few species in a lawn, you can grow many in a wildflower meadow. 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. Your new wildflower garden starts here. We are developing a mobile app that will make it easy to create wildflower habitats and collect data on pollinator abundance and diversity. Take a look at our instructions for sowing wildflower seeds in trays. If you have a small lawn, try a 1m-square micro-meadow. This will encourage more diversity but stop the grasses dominating. So there is no reason why you shouldn't expect these at home, too. We'd generally say cut an established wildflower meadow in sections from the end of July, leaving several days between each to encourage diversity. In most cases, it is advisable to consider weed control in two phases – as part of site preparation prior to planting, and as an important component of a post-germination maintenance program. Gardens, of course, cannot substitute ancient meadows in the wild. Avoid putting cuttings in the compost unless you want wildflowers appearing in every part of the garden. 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. A friend In Dorset mows part of their lawn up to mid-April, which encourages pyramidal orchids to grow. O ne of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to forget the lawnmower and just let your grass grow. 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. 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. These beauties need light to stimulate germination. 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. While a wildflower lawn may never be a “true” meadow, there is a time and place for it – and that time is now. Chances are you’ll get meadow buttercup, oxeye daisy and bird’s-foot trefoil on neutral or limey soils. Avoid putting cuttings in the compost unless you want wildflowers appearing in every part of the garden. The chances are that at least some wildflowers … You never quite know what to expect from your no-mow patch, which is a large part of the pleasure for me. 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. My wife and I are keen on helping wildlife and enjoy encouraging wildlife into our garden. Growing wildflowers in shady spaces doesn’t have to be difficult – all you need is the right seed! 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. A friend In Dorset mows part of their lawn up to mid-April, which encourages pyramidal orchids to grow. You will lose some flowers as you mow, but you will also encourage new flowers – think of it as pruning to encourage healthy growth. 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. Rewild our lawn. Would you like to do less mowing? If you have a small lawn, try a 1 metre-square micro-meadow. This is because the average lawn is usually home to what many would describe as weeds. 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. Gardening on acid soil? Just as in wildflower meadows across Britain, each with their own regional character and identity, your soil type will determine which flowers will grow. Never scalp wild flowers – the lowest you should allow the sward to … ‘Shift your perspective slightly and, like a botanical version of the ugly duckling story, many so-called weeds will grow into lovely wildflowers.’. Dig over the area, rake it to a fine tilth and sprinkle wild flower seeds on top. Try cutting different areas at different times and see how your wildflowers respond. Don’t drown the seeds. The best things to do to encourage wildflowers into your patch is to stop mowing. via Facebook, Jeremy Bartlett: Our small wildflower meadow is now three years old and is full of life. Benefits of Wildflower Lawns Protection of Biodiversity. 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. This will lower fertility and give perennial wildflowers a chance to push through the grass. Get free wildflower gardening tips by email. If it’s a small enough patch you might even get by with a pair of garden shears. I've also bought seeds to sow this autumn. The trend for wildflower meadows leads to substituting lawns for sowing a meadow of flowering annuals which looks great for a summer and then dies away. 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. 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. Lawn weedkillers should not be used, as these will kill the wildflowers you wish to encourage Where grasses become dominant try sowing the annual wildflower, yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor) which is semi-parasitic on grasses. Maximize unmowed areas and encourage native habitat that includes native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses Reduce frequency of mowing During peak nesting and pollination activity, avoid mowing, namely spring and summer Use a push mower, when possible If you get more invasive plants like nettle or dock, it’s best to pull these up by hand. This gives the wildflowers a chance to complete their cycle of growing, flowering and setting seed. Picture a gently sloping mountain meadow filled with the delicate blossoms of yellow Plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), orange California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), and lacey baby’s breath (Gypsophila elegans). Select a garden site that receives the amount of sunlight necessary for the wildflower varieties. But these days, thriving wildflower meadows are an increasingly rare sight – more than 97% of them have been destroyed since the 1930s, disappearing under the plough or being converted to silage fields. Or maybe the pond? Scatter wildflower seeds thinly over bare patches of watered soil or in rows in a seedbed to transplant later as small clumps. In wildflower meadows on acid soil in Wales and Scotland you’ll find harebell, tormentil and devil’s-bit scabious, among others. 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. Then leave it alone and enjoy the flowers through spring and the following summer. Chances are you'll get meadow buttercup, oxeye daisy and bird's-foot trefoil on neutral or limey soils. 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. 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. Take a break from mowing your lawn (or a small area of it) to encourage the growth of nectar-rich plants, such as clover. This is because the average lawn is usually home to what many would describe as ‘weeds’. A no-mow lawn should produce pretty little plants such as daisies, speedwell, self-heal, buttercups and clovers. Wildflower seeds need moisture to get started. Try to resist cutting until at least the middle of July – or even into early September if you can. At this point, the wildflowers require less maintenance. I have planted bubs for spring and now waiting for the wild flowers to come into bloom. Definitely finish before the end of August. The flowers are a beautiful sight and a lovely link to my childhood. What comes up in your no-mow mini-meadow depends very much on what you start with. So if you’re looking for inspiration, why not start here? But oxeye daisies, cowslips and even orchids might appear too. 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. Don’t be tempted to add manure or fertiliser as this will encourage excessive vigour in the grasses, which then swamp the wildflowers. I am temporarily living with a family in suburbia, and they are encouraging me to grow more flowers in their small yard. What wildflowers can you grow in your garden? Grass on limey soils may throw up a cowslip or two. One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to leave a patch of lawn to its own devices during spring and summer. At the other extreme, why not leave most of the lawn unmown with just a few paths meandering through? 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. 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. They are fully hardy to survive the winter and dry summers. 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. The prairie grass and wildflower seeds do not root and grow unless they are in contact with bare soil. Sow this in August and keep the grass mown until March Save to … Gardens, of course, cannot substitute ancient meadows in the wild. Use a lawn mower with the grass box on. Or, sow tiny pinches of seed directly into small modules of seed compost and plant as ‘plugs’. 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