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Posts tagged 'wildflower meadow'

Yellow Rattle

9 December 2013

Yellow rattleIt was interesting that Monty Don opened today's programme on the Great British Garden Revival with an explanation of how yellow rattle helps wildflower meadows to grow.  It was only two days ago that we sowed yellow rattle seed in the wildflower corner in the Genus garden.

In a wildflower meadow, grasses can overpower the flowers. Yellow rattle is a parasitic plant that attaches its own roots to the roots of grasses and inhibits their growth, so the flowers have a better chance.

Yellow rattle needs a period of cold weather to germinate, so the best time to sow the seed is now, in December.  Around July, the plant produces seeds that "rattle" inside the pod, and only when they have dispersed should the meadow be cut.

To sow the yellow rattle, I first cut the meadow with the mower set quite low, then scattered the seed, and passed over it with the roller to make sure that the seed is in contact with the soil.

I'll now wait to see if we get a good crop.

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