Viewing 40 posts - 241 through 280 (of 311 total)
  • No mow May
  • myti
    Free Member

    @fazzini pro gardener here. There is not a selective weedkiller that would only kill the marestail. You would have to clear the whole area which obviously I wouldn’t recommend. If you have marestail in a lawn area unfortunately the only way to control it is regular mowing. It will weaken it but not eliminate. If it’s in borders regular digging out and you could carefully spot treat young growth with weedkiller but better to have someone qualified to apply. If you have neighbours you like definitely don’t just let it go wild. It’s nightmare stuff that will push up through tarmac if left unchecked.

    1
    fazzini
    Full Member

    Thanks @myti, it’s mostly arrived from next door’s paved ‘jungle’, but it’s common in all the surrounding area. Only had an issue with it over last 2 years. It’s now spread from their back garden through ours and into our neighbours on the other side. Mower coming out once the rain sods off.


    @Bunnyhop
    – me neither, just wanted to leave the good stuff for the bees, butterflies etc in my tiny patch of garden, but not let the horsetail get out of control. Was hoping there might be a solution for both.

    2
    duncancallum
    Full Member

    No mow may is now no mow july…

    Its done nothing but piddle down and now its a jungle…

    1
    toby1
    Full Member

    Just mowed for the second time since, well probably the start of the year! It was all grass by this point, no blooms and knee deep. Took a couple of runs with the mower to sort. Hopefully did the local wildlife some good 😊

    1
    a11y
    Full Member

    Long grassers: thinking ahead to pre-winter cutting (I’m in central Scotland so that happens earlier than many on here). We’ve left one quarter of our grass uncut this year – completely uncut. It’s developed nicely and the garden’s all the better for it.

    Should I cut the really long stuff back before winter?

    Or, just leave it to do as nature intended?

    We’d like to continue the same long-grass approach next year and beyond but I’m unsure what the best action is NOW (if any) that’ll help that. If I don’t have to attack it with the trimmer then I’m more than OK with that…

    Grass

    Grass2

    2
    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    I’m hopeful that someone will be along to tell us that will self regulate a11y.

    I’ve left the whole of my garden and otherwise it’s tomorrow’s job to cut it back to the point I can find the shed

    3
    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    @a11y I usually, and have, cut mine once in late summer -a week ago. I put the mower on the highest setting (I’ve tried a scythe but I’ve not got the rhythm) then I leave the grass to dry for a few days. I collect it with a rake and I shake it round to scatter seeds and invertebrates. I then loosely pile it on one of my animal shelters up the garden. Some areas I don’t cut at all and the result is quite different- big tussock’s develop which are very popular with small mammals but less flowers in summer – cow parsley does well though!

    There’s more info on the let it bloom June thread – I’ve searched for a dedicated wildlife/gardening thread but can’t find one – perhaps we need to start one?

    1
    phil5556
    Full Member

    I’m at the same stage now too, I plan to cut the top half of the garden to the longest mower setting I think but not sure what to do with the bottom half.

    It’s got a lot of dandelions in which I’d Leila fewer of next year.

    I’ve also thought about scattering some low height clover (if that’s a thing) on the top half in the hope that over time we end up with a clover lawn that doesn’t grow too tall.

    1
    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Last night I cut the lawn on the highest setting, but still left the ‘long meadow bit in the centre’ for another week. I’ll hand cut this with shears, remove the long grass, mow on the highest setting, rake, then try and sprinkle the seeds from the long grass back on this patch (very much as wheelsonfire1 has done).

    I tend to leave the side wild nettle bit, because dead nettles have lots of hiding places for insects (hollow stalks in the winter).
    We’ve got hundreds of baby frogs this year, which have been beneficial to the veg beds.

    1
    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Previously I’ve been just cutting once a year in autumn, but reckon that won’t really hack it for a proper meadow as the herbaceous perennials are starting to take over. Do others do a summer cut too? I did belatedly chop everything in late august this year but probably that’s not very different from the autumn cut anyway.

    1
    Edukator
    Free Member

    Last year I left the Autumn cut until the Spring. That resulted in a lot of dead patches which took a long time to recover. This year I’ll do a long cut when the grass has dropped its seed.

    stevious
    Full Member

    Another wildlife gardening Q. Previous owners were very ‘golf course’ about the lawn so the back is a bit of a monoculture (front is improving). We get a lot of moss here, which I killed off with ferrous & scarified in the spring hoping to expose a bit of dirt for seeds to take hold in. Is it worth doing again or am I wasting my time? I’m not looking for full-on meadow status – even a few daisies and dandilions would be a good start.

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    am I wasting my time? I’m not looking for full-on meadow status – even a few daisies and dandilions would be a good start.

    Mine was almost half moss early this year. I raked it in about march when we had a spell of good weather – didn’t bother with ferrous or anything – then left it to it, various gasses, clover, selfheal and buttercups have taken over the clear patches and there’s little moss in site.

    Birds were quite pleased with the pile of lose moss I left for them too.

    a11y
    Full Member

    Thanks all, I’ll give it a trim with the strimmer I think, then collect it in.I already use the lawnmower’s highest height setting on the rest of the grass and that’d just rip the long grass out the ground if I tried (which I did briefly, just to see).

    1
    J-R
    Full Member

    Do others do a summer cut too?

    I cut a bit in Spring up to April then leave it no mow May -July. Then a summer cut in August and occasionally then-on until it stops growing for winter.

    I also sowed a few yellow rattle seeds last autumn. They seem to have flowered well and as parasites they suppress the grass too.

    There is a lot more detailed info at the RHS website:

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/lawns/wildflower-meadow-maintenance

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Thanks yeah I’ve got a great annual crop of yellow rattle after planting seeds several years ago. It’s all worked out pretty well up to now with just the annual autumn cut, but the perennials are starting to take over a bit too much. Some of them I planted for fun but I’m not really looking for a herbaceous border :-)

    Think I’ll aim at a bit earlier in Aug next time, this year I just didn’t get round to it early enough. Spring comes so late here that doing it any earlier would risk chopping it down in its prime.

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Not a chance of mowing in August this year without a snorkel for the mower.

    3
    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Finally I cut the wildflower section of the garden. Cut by hand with shears, then a high mower cut and finally a good raking. The rest of the lawn has only been mowed on a high setting maybe 3 or 4 times this year. The lawn looks incredibly green and healthy.

    The wild section was full of frogs, insects and wild flower seeds.

    Next year I’m going to sow the wild flower seeds into plugs and plant these out, as throwing the seed has not worked as well as I’d hoped.

    2
    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We’re planning more seedlings into our wild areas next year. Certainly more heathers and heath’s too.

    1
    Bruce
    Full Member

    Ms Bruce has some wildflower patches which she planted with help from volunteers on one of the green spaces she manages, we mowed them at the end of August and have found that scythes were a very effective method of cutting them. The problem with scythes is that for them to cut effectively they need to be sharp, properly set up and you have to aquire a reasonable technique.

    Once you have got some basic skills it work well and is less risky to critters than strimmers and lawn mowers. Scything also is good for trunk rotation if you paddle a kayak.

    1
    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Agree scything would be ideal but it’s just not that practical for most people.

    2
    myti
    Free Member

    I cut my meadow bank on Monday. Actually I scalped it with the petrol strimmer and it was much thicker than previous years due to the poor summer. Today I raked/scrapped off all loose stuff and chucked in a load of wild flower seed including lot’s of yellow rattle that I collected over the summer. Managed to get some yellow rattle with this method last year so hoping for more next year.

    1
    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    Those of you who are intending participating in “no mow May” – try leaving that area entirely now without cutting? All the invertebrates and mammals that have been overwintering will thrive and you’ll probably get a different variety of grasses and flowers from last year. I’ve still not cut down the perennials and annuals in our front flower bed, this morning there was a flock of goldfinches again on the seed heads of the evening primrose and Japanese anemones- beautiful to see close up. It does look a bit untidy but the rewards are worth it now I don’t put bird food out anymore.

    1
    thelawman
    Full Member

    there was a flock of goldfinches

    Correct term is ‘a charm’ of goldfinches, apparently, for info.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    For anyone suggesting we all do it this year, are you prepared to come to me in June and mow my lawns?

    4
    thepurist
    Full Member

    are you prepared to come to me in June and mow my lawns

    You don’t need to leave the whole lawn, just pick whatever area you’re happy to leave and crack on with mowing the rest.

    J-R
    Full Member

    Thanks for the reminder – I need to mow once or twice before late April.  Hopefully we will get a long enough break in the rain to do that soon.

    StuF
    Full Member

    I’ve not mown all of last year – mainly due to the dog scrabbling about reducing most of the ‘lawn’ to mud

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    When we get a dry spell I’ll be mowing the paths I need, but leaving the rest. Re-opening this thread has reminded me to get going with the wildflower plugs.

    stevious
    Full Member

    Any lawn-biodiversity experts care to advise me about moss? Our lawn is in the process of recovering from years of golf style lawncare and I’m keen to encourage it to be more wild. Being pretty far North (Inverness) we get loads of moss in the lawn. Last year I killed it off a bit and scarified in the hope that it might expose the soil and we might get something else growing. Should I keep up wit this or just leave the moss and see what happens?

    asbrooks
    Full Member

    Need some dry weather so I can give it a cut hopefully before May. At least to clear the winter dog mess.  Last year I cut it in some areas and not others, we a lucky/unlucky to have a largish garden. The Lawn part has gradually shrunk and been replaced by either veg beds or left to go wild since the kids leaving home.

    Scapegoat
    Full Member

     Should I keep up wit this or just leave the moss and see what happens?

    No expert, but we’re at altitude here and so the lawn tends to be about 40-50% moss at this time of year. I used to religiously use feed and weed  or whatever, but now just let it get on with it. It isn’t a show garden, and as long as it’s mostly green then I reckon it’s fine. Left to flower and flourish in blocks (see previous pics) there’s a great show of stuff in the early summer.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    We will be cutting it all through May and the rest of the summer. I hate how messy it looks and all the weeds that spread as a result of those who don’t bother

    Ewan
    Free Member

    Managed to sneak a cut of our whole garden in the other day inbetween downpours. Will now leave 3/4 of an acre or thereabouts to it’s own devices until hay cut. Did manage to pick up a second hand sickle mower on facebook the other day that will hopefully avoid me having to panic source a hired one in august…. assuming this works (it starts and stops so…..)

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    As for moss, I inherited a scarifier from somewhere which gets a bit of use on the proper lawn. Last year was terrible for moss and I didn’t get round to doing it (partly because it was so wet most of the time) so took advantage of the recent dry spell to give it a go. Properly scalped the lawn but it could do with another go when (if!) it dries up again.

    Unless you’re really committed though (and depending on local climate) it’s a bit of a war of attrition. I don’t mind some moss but it got a bit excessive last year.

    The meadow however will be untouched for a few months yet other than strimming round the stepping stones.

    1
    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    One person’s weed is another person’s wild flower, or, part of the circle of life!

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I’ve been using iron sulphate after scarifying most years.

    Although I’m concerned that the “turf hardening” aspect is really just a euphemism for clearing out the worms, so it may just be self defeating in the long term.

    I might just stick with scarifying now that the iron sulphates run out and try to let the grass in the shady/wet areas grow a little longer. I’ve also got a load of spent grow-bags from last year I’m going to use to level those areas a bit.

    me neither, just wanted to leave the good stuff for the bees, butterflies etc in my tiny patch of garden, but not let the horsetail get out of control. Was hoping there might be a solution for both.

    Mares tail is a PITA.

    We eventually succeeded by letting the whole top half of the garden grow to knee high, then nukeing the whole area with glyphosate. Seemed to kill it throughout the garden as it spreads through the roots. We still get the odd bit in the flowerbeds but it’s manageable weeding it manually. Neither neighbor cares for their garden so this sort of thing is an inevitability.

    Trouble is that end of the garden was too shady to grow anything we actually wanted, so it’s now concreted over and a summer house 😂

    2
    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Who’s in (or rather out) for NOT mowing for May?

    This phrase was first coined by ‘Plantlife’ an international conservation charity. They persuaded landowners and councils to refrain from mowing grass verges to allow wildflowers to thrive.

    It was so successful that the charity started to persuade gardeners and anyone with a patch of land to leave the mowing and let it grow. Since then people have reported orchids and other rare plants in their garden, which have been given the chance over a few years to re-appear. The No Mow May has encouraged gardeners to consider the advantages for wildlife, especially insects and birds, thus helping many declining species.

    In our garden we’ve  been doing this for several years with a lot of success. The rewards of seeing many more butterflies, moths, insects and birds has been enjoyable. Also it’s an excuse for a bit of lazy gardening. :)

    A small patch of lawn left wild is all that’s needed.

    Or as we do, go even further and have a  NO MOW for the whole of summer.

    1
    a11y
    Full Member

    I’m in. Only started for the first time last year and it was a good start. Left approx 1/4 of our grass area to its own devices apart from mowing a path through it for the kids to use for biking laps of the garden. Similar approach this year athough ‘lost’ part of the area for a trampoline for the kids. Won’t look quite as nice with the trampoline in the middle of it, this was last year:

    2023-08-14 Polmont Road garden 00020

    1
    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    Don’t have domestic permission to do No Mow May but put some daisy plugs in last spring which were really disappointing but have come up nicely this year – hopefully once the clover/buttercups come up it will all look really good.

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