We are a group of 5 houses and have a common area, about 1/3 of an acre, which we have just planted some well spaced out fruit trees. We want to put the area into a meadow. Roundup was applied 6 months ago and area has been levelled with a JCB but is fairly bumpy. Is it practical to put into a meadow and what steps would need to be taken?
A wildflower lawn is a possibility. You need to level off the area by rotavating and raking and allow it to settle. Then sow some grass seed or just allow wild grasses and weeds/wildflowers to come up from the exisitng seed bank in the soil. You just mow whatever comes up and it will turn into a wildflower lawn.
A lawn can be maintained as a wildflower lawn, encouraging the wildflowers, or ‘weeds’, instead of killing them. A lawn grown for wildflowers needs mowing less frequently, about every two to three weeks instead of every week, giving the flowers a chance to open.
Mulch mowing returns the nutrients to the soil. Fertilizers might be used but only once a year at most and at a low rate of 10 to 15 grams per square metre, not using high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer, which encourages grass, but general fertilizer which encourages the flowers as well, or an autumn lawn fertilizer.
A wildflower lawn, note this is not a meadow.