Hooters Hall

No Mow May in the Garden

As part of our ten year plan of rewilding and meadow making we’ve stopped mowing the lawn at the front of our property and seeing what happens.

We’re not leaving it completely untouched but we are gardening with a light touch and wildlife in mind. Today I spent the day doing some weeding, digging up any large thistles and cutting back the nettles keeping them restricted to specific areas.

The grass has shot up and it looks beautiful when there’s a bit of a breeze — a sea of green waves with nodding seed heads.

There are some wildflowers amongst the grass and I’m planning on planting yellow rattle to thin out the grass a bit and create space for more wildflowers, eventually we’ll have a wildflower meadow with lots of perennial wildflowers.

We could speed this process up by rotavating areas to seed with wildflowers or killing off the grass with weedkiller then replanting but I prefer taking the slower, more natural approach revealing what wildflowers are stored in the soil.

As well as no mowing and encouraging or planting wildflowers we also have an enormous wood pile that we are leaving to rot down and I’m planning on making a small wildlife pond later this year.

For now we are just keeping the more robust wildflowers such as nettles and thistles under control then in late August / early September we will cut the area, leave the cut grass and plants to dry and drop their seeds before gathering it in, much as you would in a hay meadow.

I’m going to grow my own yellow rattle plug plants from seed ready to plant out next year together with other wildflowers suited to our soil type. Gradually over time we’ll increase the number of species.

Already the garden is humming with life full of bees, butterflies, insects and birds and without any mowing I have more time to enjoy it.

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