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Creating a riverside wildflower meadow
My question is: I would like to create a wildflower meadow in the 4-acre riverside sheltered field that adjoins my cottage. I need to remove tough grass but preserve certain areas which are filled with bluebells in the Spring.
I have researched the basic principles of creating such a wildflower meadow but would like to know a bit more about what are the best means and machines for taking up the dense grass in such a large area- and keeping it under control without resorting to hugely environmentally and health-damaging glyphosate.
130120171, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow Posted: 13/01/2017
Treat the area as a wet meadow, allowing whatever widlflowers are present to show themselves.
This means mowing in mid spring as soon as the ground can bear a ride-on lawnmower or better still a tractor mower. Let it grow as meadow until purple loosetrife and meadowsweet have flowered and seeded and then mow.
The principle is to reduce fertility by removing mowings as hay, or cut grass.
Over time, the wild flowers of low ground, including purple loosetrife, meadow sweet, flag iris, ragged robin, cuckoo flower, slef heal, ajuga and buttercup will establish, or you can raise plants from seed and introduce them. Weed species such as docks may need to be rooted out in summer when they can be seen easily.
It is better and easier to work with what you have than to rip it up and sow.