By now, we all know how important it is to have some wild areas in our gardens where possible, to support our wildlife and biodiversity.
Many of our maintenance sites have wild meadows that contribute towards this, and although they are supposed to be ‘wild’ looking, they still need maintaining. Although wildflowers and grasses have a reputation for being less maintenance in terms of watering, feeding and pruning, they do need mowing to ensure they come back year on year.
So, how do you keep these areas looking and functioning the best they can?
Cutting them once or twice a year is advised. The best time to do this is towards the end of August, this removes surplus growth and allows any wild flowers to thrive. Late August is the best time to cut a meadow as it ensures excess grass and weeds are kept at bay. By this time of year all the wildflowers should have gone to seed, so cutting now will reset the new growth for the year ahead.
As you can see from the photos below, we recently carried out a meadow cut on a client’s garden. In their orchard. As this is a very large space and the client wanted the grass cut short, we used a flail to cut the wild grass and then a ride on mower to cut the pathways. Before cutting long grass it’s very important to check for sheltering wildlife. We do this by walking through the grass making lots of noise, giving any animals time to get away.
Once the cut was complete, we then collected up all the grass using our Avant loader and composted it.