Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 84 total)
  • Wilding your garden our green space
  • Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Free Member

    After reading WCA thread about the beasties on some ragwort, there is a definite misunderstanding about this weed.

    I was just wondering if anyone else has tried the ‘No Mow May’ and carried on leaving their lawn to grow.

    We took the decision a few years ago to help bees, insects, mammals and pond creatures.
    This involved planting a hedge where a fence was. Taking out a small pond and replacing it with something a lot bigger, leaving clover, nettles and many other weeds to grow. One of these weeds is the contentious ragwort. Grass has only been mown once a month, with one area being completely left.
    A re- planting over 14 years of bee/hover fly, butterfly and moth friendly flowers and plants that will produce pollen for at least 9 months of the year.
    Yes the path is overgrown with herbs and various plants, weeds and flowers and may look untidy to the gardener that likes the manicured look. The numbers of birds, wild animals, insects and other creatures visiting has been amazing.
    Baby frogs everywhere and the first hedgehog we’ve seen in years eating up the slugs and beetles.
    Give nature a home if you can.

    Premier Icon dufresneorama
    Free Member

    We dug out all the shrubs and gravel in the front garden about 18months ago and put down wild flower/grass meadow seed. Doesn’t look as colourful as the council wildflower meadows, but it’s certainly busy over the summer. Mow to 10cm throughout growing season but leave to flower over summer.

    The rear back garden had a fence then a leylandii hedge. A tree took the fence down a couple of years ago so to fix the fence the leylandii had to go (thankfully). In its place we left a wild strip and put down some old birch logs. Now it’s grasses and flowers and some self seeded trees, elder and rowan. The rear lawn gets mown about once a month now,or if we’re due people over in the garden. Loads more flowers, insects and bees.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We’ve had to cut out our overgrown jungle, however we’ve consciously put back in things that encourage all sorts back to the garden.

    This winter will see lots of new hawthorn, more heather, big grasses etc go back in too.

    Plus of course 6 bird boxes of differing types and a hedgehog hoose.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I let the lawn grow enough for the clover to flower, then give the bees a week before I cut it.

    Gradually replacing the stuff in the borders with more insect friendly versions

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Free Member

    Other half did no mow may and will often mow around the clover every so often. The plants have been chosen to give the bees something at every point during the year and we do seem to have a disproportionate amount of purple.

    Old Gü pudding dishes are filled with pebbles and rain water to give them a drink during dryer times as well.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Free Member

    Good idea Matt. Hubby will be making a hog house before end of summer. I’ll just stand by and tell him where to place it :0)

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Given out complete inability to grow veg due to repeated infestations of slugs, snails and caterpillars I think our garden does well enough for wildlife 🤣

    Neither of our neighbours mow their grass consistently. And as a result the mares tail we thought we’d eradicated has come back too.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Full Member

    We keep our garden reasonably tidy but we also try to encourage as much wildlife as possible.

    We’ve got hedge along the one side and front, we’re on the corner of a junction, so that inside and out and that requires maintenance in accordance with our tenancy agreement. Which in reality means three cuts a year. It’s got every type of hedging plant used anywhere and a few that nobody would use.

    There’s also apple, pear, plum and cherry trees. An abundance of bee loving plants and the lawn is clover and dandelions. We’re planning to add a wild flower and flowering grasses area where the moss is taking over, don’t know how successful that will be.

    I started a thread about , what turns out to be, a giant puffball mushroom growing in my “lawn”. If any one wants it before it spores then they are welcome to it. Apparently The Wife doesn’t want a giant fungal infection.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    I’m a big fan of more wilding. Probably bang on about it a bit too much, to especially when we have a “what mower for 17 acres of lawn” thread. We’ve got few areas of garden with a mix of lawn and wild. Steadily increasing the wild bit. It’s a fine line to keep out some of more aggressive plants that lead to a bit of mono culture but we’re getting a good balance now. Lots of different grasses, heather, ferns, clover, wild flowers. Also have some nice mixed native hedgerow and a green roof and just put in a wildlife pond. Much better than a lawn. Getting some good wildlife in.

    Premier Icon mariner
    Free Member

    I prepared the centre part of our lawn last year, cut, raked and scarified.
    Spread a wildflower mix for clay according to the instructions and tended it over the winter. Mowed in spring to give the plants other than grass a chance to get going and apart from the odd wildflower all we got was long grass. I mowed it all off last week and starting the raking and scarifying process again. I have fresh Rattle seed this time and plug plants that I have brought on.
    Certainly had a lot of Dragonflies over the meadow and loads of small dark butterflies and tiny frogs. Plus a Deer that passes through the garden and deadheads the roses. According to Monty Don it takes years to establish a meadow so here is looking forward to next years effort.
    [url=https://www.flickr.com/gp/140397021@N03/Xs9405]P1290559 (1024×516)[/url] by michaelwex10, on Flickr

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    We had a go at a wildflower border this year.

    It wasn’t quite as successful as I’d hoped as it became overgrown with 1.5m tall purple flowers which didn’t bloom for all that long. Next year’s plan involves wildflower plugs rather than growing from seed, and I think a lavender.

    Premier Icon konagirl
    Free Member

    Haven’t gone for meadow lawn yet, but we do keep adding more bee-friendly plants (lots of nectar, differing flowering seasons) and making sure there is water available for the birds and bigger visitors. We’ve had bees nest (bumbles and leaf cutter) and make sure we don’t disturb them. And good dense vegetation although the local cats make me think there are few nesting opportunities within our garden. The next things will probably be a small pond and bigger veg patch. We’ve had a hedgehog but no evidence recently but we get foxes and a badger. Could really do with the hedgehog as we have so many snails and slugs they keep eating the best plants (salvias, sunflowers seem to be favourites).

    Premier Icon Edukator
    Free Member

    Yup. I mow the edges to keep the neighbours happy and leave the middle. If you look closely you’ll see and little oak, a maple and some ash which may create a mini forest one day. The peaches have been half picked to make jam. I’m hoping the reaminder will be nice enough to eat soon.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Free Member

    It’s so heartening to know that many of us are really doing something. If we can join up all these little plots, then there’s hope.

    Last week I took my mum for a walk around a housing estate. Nearly all the gardens were immaculate, some very pretty, some boring and just green, it was very noticeable the lack of bees and insects. We need to ‘let go’ in the UK and let nature in. It all takes time.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Left my rear grass till today to cut. Was a good 18/20 inches tall.

    The wildlife* still resides in the hedge and the more kept front garden(grass kept till the clover flowers -the wild roses , fruit trees and clematis) didn’t note any increase in activity in the long grass other than it swamping the wild flowers.

    So we can achieve similar results without the garden looking like we don’t live here anymore

    *Birds (mostly sparrows/tits but some crows and red kites quite regularly) , pollinators , foxes, hedgehogs , caterpillars slugs and snails etc . The frogs live in the waterway running down the back of the hedge. The sheep and horses live over the road.

    What I’d like to see is the council not blanket cutting down the road verges….. Easy gains there. I replanted mine last year with low grow wild flowers at fair expense and the **** council came along about 2 weeks ago and leveled it leaving a mess …-was 6 inches tall not blocking any sight lines. How ever on the plus side looks like his blade found all the rocks in the edge.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    What I’d like to see is the council not blanket cutting down the road verges

    I’d settle for them not nuking the verges with glyphosate, which leads neatly on to this petition.

    I did a FOI on this a while ago; it turned out that the council were spending half a million pounds a year to starve bees.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    Yep, it’s taken nearly three years at one property I’m responsible for but by not cutting the grass crown is now less dense and new stuff has started seeding itself. In year one we cut two or three times. This year we won’t cut at all. Lots of moths, bees and insects. And this is in a semi urban environment.

    Premier Icon zomg
    Free Member

    We dug out our urban front lawn 6 years ago and planted a variety of fancy thistles and other flowers. I do a bit of weeding for aesthetics but try to let even those things flower before pulling them out. We cut it back once a year in winter.

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Full Member

    then give the bees a week before I cut it.

    I now have an image in my head of MCTD standing in their garden saying “oi, bees, you’ve got a week yeah?”

    Lovely pic Mariner.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Free Member

    Neither of our neighbours mow their grass consistently. And as a result the mares tail we thought we’d eradicated has come back too.

    You don’t live next to me do you?! We have Marestail, even after being under black plastic for 25+ years it has still come back now that we’ve uncovered it.

    This was ours last year

    We’ve got a strip at the end of our garden that is about 25m x 5m that we are trying to turn in to a wild flower meadow. I think we need to do a bit more research on how to get the flowers to grow, last year was great but this year it’s mostly grass and very few flowers.

    I’m going to cut it back in Autumn and again in spring, I didn’t do it this spring which I think might be where I went wrong?

    Premier Icon ernielynch
    Free Member

    last year was great but this year it’s mostly grass and very few flowers.

    Maybe need some Yellow Rattle seeds?

    Premier Icon mrwhyte
    Free Member

    I remember seeing something on spring watch last year perhaps about creating a wildlife garden and using native plants more. So I plants a load of native plant plugs and the impact has been amazing. The number of bumble bees this year has visibly increased along with birds. Seen a couple of fly catchers too.

    One of the best plants has been teasels. Bees love them and then we get flocks of goldfinches in the winter feeding on them.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Free Member

    Yes yellow rattle is a must.
    We partitioned our local council to stop cutting grass verges. Luckily they haven’t cut along the new A555 this year due to a public petition, which has seen significant increases in wildlife – kestrels, buzzards, finches feeding from the seed heads, more insects.

    I’ve mowed my lawn about 3 times this year, leaving a 3 metre x 1 metre stretch in the centre uncut. We’ve had more grasshopper, beetles and butterflies in that area, a gatekeeper being one that never would normally visit our garden.
    This year even found red clover.

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Free Member

    Wildlife pond is under construction. I’ve got some clumps of echinacea and echinops that the bees seem to love along with a lavender border. There’s a wildflower patch under the buddleia that also attracts a good amount of wildlife. Lovely sitting in the sun watching all the activity.

    Premier Icon StuE
    Full Member

    Artificial grass seems to be the latest fad near me,that and paving/graveling over the front garden

    Premier Icon johnx2
    Free Member

    Rewilding? Absolutely! No need to take that well-used mattress to the dump when it can be a haven for rodent life. Likewise the old telly with the smashed screen – perfect for wasps or ants to make a nest, so much better for wildlife than a new Oled.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    I prepared the centre part of our lawn last year, cut, raked and scarified.
    Spread a wildflower mix for clay according to the instructions and tended it over the winter. Mowed in spring to give the plants other than grass a chance to get going and apart from the odd wildflower all we got was long grass. I mowed it all off last week and starting the raking and scarifying process again. I have fresh Rattle seed this time and plug plants that I have brought on.

    Most issues like this will be due to excess nutrients, mainly Nitrogen in the soil. A few years of allowing to grow cutting back hard, over and over and crucially removing clippings will help if you want to play the long game. Stripping turf before sowing will also help. Most the council roadside ‘meadow’ stuff will be mainly cornfield annual type mixes which will cope better with higher nutrient levels.

    Yellow rattle has been shown to help knock back the dominance of grasses due to it being selectively parasitic on grasses but it also needs low nutrient levels to grow in the first place so an excess of hope placed on it helping allowing flower establishment is misplaced IMO. Carbon addition can help lower soil nutrients, using saw dust can help although you need to make sure it was untreated wood as you want soil fungi to grow in the place of bacteria.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    We’re doing this as much out of practical necessity, we live next to a nature reserve with a herd of wild red deer who roam freely and see anything growing as food. They stand along our wall each evening and look longingly at our newly seeded lawn – in the morning we have lots of hoof-prints and pulled-out tufts. Our boundary along one side is a stone wall and home to frogs, toads and newts. Along the wall was piled-up some dead trees and loads of brash – we’ve cleared it away from the wall to try and control the bracken, but left the brash and dead trees piled up as the birds and the hedgehogs like it. We have put deer fence around a couple of areas as we are planning to grow our own produce, but most of it will be left to grow naturally. We have at least 4 species of orchid on the nature reserve and trying to create the right conditions for them to grow in our garden. We have some bird feeders and came down to find one in pieces on the floor – turns out deer like sunflower seeds too. I’ve just got a salvaged plastic mussel float that I’m going to cut in half – one side to make a hedgehog house and the other a small wildlife pond.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    We left the top bit of our garden to go long. Just about finished dealing with it – 7 hours cutting it, 7 hours raking it, god knows how many hours making 40 bales of hay with a wooden contraption I knocked up.

    I am now less sold on having a wild flower garden!

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    If you wee into a bottle and mix it 1 part wee to 9 parts water in a watering can, then water your lawn…that got your attention…it turns to clover, it also grows like you never seen, wee is the best nitrogen/phosphate mix you can get, once past the shock and horror the benefits are pretty impressive, tomatoes and lawns especially.

    I let my lawn grow then cut around the edges and a circle of wild bit at one end, looked rather designery, all clover(yes I did) but after the flowers it went brown, so cut it and did it over with a different pattern, hipster patterned lawn is the new..er..lawn.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Clover doesn’t need nitrogen, it can fix its own

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    didn’t note any increase in activity in the long grass other than it swamping the wild flowers.

    It takes some time (a couple of years) before the grass “crown” thins sufficiently for wildflowers to find space. We helped this along in a few places we removed the grass and seeded the ground with various mixes. In others we planted fully grown plants. But yeah it’s a bit of a compromise between neat and tidy and somewhat unkempt. Between us and Once the local church stopped dumping weed killer and let stuff grow up on their neighbouring grounds we’ve seen seen a marked increase in insects.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Well, in contrast to the above we haven’t re Wilded in our recent garden renovation. It’s a small plot and we need space to sit out and enjoy the outside so we extended our patio and reduced the lawn which is now about 4x3m. However we’ve planted a ton of flowers and we took care to put in species that will attract the bees and butterflies. We were a bit late with it though so hoping for a better show next year.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    Clover doesn’t need nitrogen, it can fix its own

    Well it likes it enough to carpet the entire lawn in a fortnight, it was a pretty remarkable transformation, for years I put Evergreen pellets on it and it was never great, two weeks after a couple of wee mix applications and it’s the best lawn in the neighbourhood by a lush green margin, some other things have responded similarly, tomatoes have gone nuts, basil didn’t like it and turned yellow, it’s powerful enough to see visible effects surprisingly quickly.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Well it likes it enough to carpet the entire lawn in a fortnight

    Correlation doesn’t mean cause.

    Premier Icon beamers
    Full Member

    Yep, I did “No Mow May” and than carried on not mowing the lawn for June and most of July.

    Clover flowers all over the place and the bumble bees (and a few honey bees) had a fine old time.

    Will probably plant some lavender in the near future and we have some massive ragwort plants growing down the side of the house which are going to remain in place.

    I was also letting a massive thistle grow on the strip of grass at the front of the house which forms the boundary between our house and next door.

    Being in inverness the thistle was right at home.

    Despite the grass being obviously ours (its in front of our house) the neighbours dad decided that that bit of grass needed tidying up and he cut down the thistle!

    Premier Icon Mikkel
    Free Member

    We made a tiny pond last summer and this year we have had Dragonflies in the garden for the first time. The Buddleia is getting huge and means at timed you cant walk in the garden without having a swarm of butterflies around you.
    The 3.5month old Lab was a bit surprised when a giant Dragonfly did a lap of the kitchen.

    Premier Icon mariner
    Free Member

    dovebiker

    Thanks for the tip about Cornfield mix. I will give that a try this year.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Clover doesn’t need nitrogen, it can fix its own

    Well it likes it enough to carpet the entire lawn in a fortnight, it was a pretty remarkable transformation, for years I put Evergreen pellets on it and it was never great, two weeks after a couple of wee mix applications and it’s the best lawn in the neighbourhood

    So you stopped putting fertiliser on it and the clover increased? I don’t think pissing on it had much impact.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    So you stopped putting fertiliser on it and the clover increased? I don’t think pissing on it had much impact.

    Look it up.

    It’s used commercially in agriculture in parts of the US, the Aztecs were apparently the first to do it on a community level, it’s not an unknown thing, just putting the same nitrogen and phosphates in that Miracle grow does.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 84 total)

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