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24-07-2020, 20:17   #1
happydude742
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 26
Particularly 'wild' wildflower garden

Hi everyone, I'm looking for a bit of gardening advice.

My dad and I planted trees in a field about ten-fifteen years ago. I should mention that the field itself was previously a rough farm paddock. We didn't reseed it, but we did mow it frequently to contain it. The trees have come up now and we want to cultivate more of a wildflower garden look.

As you can see from the pics; the unmowed parts are particularly wild, thick, uneven and even patchy. The grass is of many different varieties (and generally wide-leafed). Are there ways to clean this up/thin it out without reseeding? There doesn't seem to be any clover growing in it.

OR- is reseeding the best bet?

TIA.
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24-07-2020, 21:51   #2
blaris
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I'm not quite sure what you are after; a wildflower grassland will by its nature be patchy, with species and areas of varying heights, thicknesses.

Re-seeding will basically remove any wild/natural character.

There may be an issue with eutrophication - the area is too nutrient rich at the moment, possibly as a result of natural or chemical enrichment.

To encourage a more diverse mix, including clovers and other wildflowers, you can cut the area to the quick in September, leaving a very tight sward, and always, always remove cuttings. Native wildflowers will colonise the area very quickly with this treatment, but you can spread locally sourced seed to speed things along a little.

Hope this helps, but any queries on the above welcome.
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24-07-2020, 22:03   #3
looksee
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You do seem to have too much grass, which as suggested would possibly indicate rich land. However you do not seem to have any nettles, nettles I think indicates very fertile land. One solution would be to sow Yellow Rattle, which is parasitic on grass roots and will reduce the amount of grass, giving other plants a better chance of taking hold. You can stop the Yellow Rattle before it goes to seed again (if you are afraid of it getting into surrounding grassland) by mowing it before it seeds.

You would probably want to give it a bit of a start with some wild flower seeds. Be a bit careful, most of the boxes of 'wild flower' or 'meadow' seeds on sale in the likes of supermarkets are a bit random and not entirely 'wild', and usually from the UK. If you want to grow local, specifically wild flowers you need to contact one of the Irish companies selling wildflower seeds. Wildflowers.ie will suggest what seed is appropriate to your soil type and area.

Last edited by looksee; 25-07-2020 at 09:22.
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