With scientists claiming that many of our beneficial pollinators are facing a worrying decline, more and more of us are creating wildflower patches in our gardens to provide the vital nectar these insects require.
While most of us don’t have the space to create a vast wildflower meadow, experts think that even just leaving a small patch of grass to grow and adding a few wildflowers to the mix can make a big difference in attracting pollinators. Here are some useful tips for creating your own wildflower oasis.
Despite what you might think, leaving a patch of land to grow wild does require regular maintenance and ensures your mini-meadow can flourish. This means that your wildflower area will need mowing, although the timing of this is important.
If your wildflower patch is new, mow the meadow in the first year after sowing, to encourage root development of your plants. After two months of sowing, cut the meadow to a height of around 2 inches, and repeat every few months during the first summer.
Established meadows benefit from either an early spring cut, a main summer cut or an autumn cut, depending on the type of wildflowers you grow and the condition of your grass.
Standard lawnmowers may not cut long grass effectively, so if you have a large wildflower area, you might need to consider purchasing or hiring a heavy-duty mower. Smaller patches can be cut using a strimmer or a scythe.
No feeding needed
Wildflower meadows thrive in poor conditions, so there’s no need to apply any food or water to the ground. This would only create lush, green growth at the expense of any flowers, which isn’t the outcome you want to achieve. Avoid using weedkillers, too, as this could cause beneficial flowers to perish. In fact, many so-called weeds, such as dandelions, are adored by pollinators, so learn to love those flowers that most of us detest.
Grow yellow rattle
One of the problems with establishing a wildflower patch is getting the right balance of grass and flowers. Generally, grass will try to take over, but you can prevent grass from dominating by sowing the wildflower, yellow rattle, which is semi-parasitic on grass. Yellow rattle is best sown around August time, where the grass should then be mown until the following March.
Allow our West Lancashire-based business to keep your mower in good condition with our sales and repair services, enabling your wildflower patch to thrive.